By Teni Shahiean, of OTS Solicitors
Teni Shahiean is a founding partner at OTS Solicitors. She has a wealth of experience in business immigration law, commercial law and employment law and regularly advises businesses on Sponsor Licence acquisition and compliance. Teni is also regularly called on to provide expert opinion on television and in print media, both in the UK and internationally.
Our team has an intrinsic understanding of the aspirations of those who come to the UK via the tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route. This is because we have dealt with so many extensive applications and have taken the time to listen to our clients’ stories. For most applicants, the ability to settle in the UK is of utmost importance.
OTS Solicitors is a Legal 500 recommended law firm based in London. We have won numerous other awards for our immigration service, including a Global Excellence Award for the Most Trusted in Immigration law. My team and I regularly support tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicants to obtain their visa, an extension and ultimately, Indefinite Leave to Remain.
The settlement process for the Entrepreneur Visa route
It is imperative that those thinking of applying for a tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa seek the advice and representation of an experienced immigration lawyer in London. This is so their application will be tailored to support the ultimate goal of settlement from the very beginning of the process.
To be eligible for a tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, applicants must have access to £50,000 or £200,000 (different criteria apply depending on the funds available). You must meet the English language requirements and pass the Genuine Entrepreneur Test which involves submitting a business plan and usually attending a Home Office interview.
- You have invested (or had someone invest on your behalf) £50,000 or £200,000 into one or more businesses in the UK.
- You have registered with HMRC as self-employed or with Companies House as a director of a new or existing company or member of a new or existing limited liability partnership.
- You have either (a) launched a start-up that has created the equivalent of at least two new full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK or invested and worked in (as a director) an existing business and your contribution has led to two full-time jobs being created.
- You are currently engaged in a business activity, dated at least three months prior to when you apply for your tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa extension.
- That you meet all the criteria for a tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa including meeting the English language requirement and that you have the required funds to support yourself.
Specific documentation is required to prove the above. These include:
- Audited accounts (or management accounts if your organisation is a partnership). The accounts must clearly show the name of the accountant, the date the accounts were produced, and how much you have invested in the business. The accounts must be prepared and signed off by the accountant, who is not you (the applicant), in accordance with statutory requirements.
- If the investment has been made in the form of a director’s loan you must also provide a legal agreement, between you (in the name that appears on your application for leave) and the company which must provide details such as the terms of the loan, the interest payable and crucially, that the loan is unsecured and subordinated in favour of third-party creditors.
- That your business has premises in the UK by way of documentation from HMRC or the Companies House.
- Bank statements and tax forms to show your business has a UK bank account and is subject to UK taxation.
- That you registered yourself or your business within six months of entering the UK. This is regardless of whether you are no longer engaged in the same organisation as when you first entered the UK. Failure to meet this requirement could lead to the Home Office curtailing your leave.
- Passports or birth certificates showing that the people you have employed for the equivalent of two full-time roles are ‘settled’ persons, plus Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax forms to prove they are working the required number of hours.
Many applications for extension fail because the right evidentiary documents are not included with the application.
The client came to OTS after a refusal of their tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application. The refusal was due to allegedly failing to provide a piece of specified evidence. We advised the client on submitting for administrative review, prepared the grounds, and lodged the application for review. We argued misinterpretation of the rules in relation to the specified evidence and a failure to apply evidential flexibility. Upon refusal of the administrative review, we assessed the merits of lodging a judicial review and ultimately advised the client to do so.
A pre-action letter was sent out, setting out the proposed grounds of the judicial review. As no answer was received within the prescribed 14 days, we lodged an application for judicial review with the court. A late reply to the pre-action letter was received, indicating the Home Office was willing to reconsider the client’s case. We conducted the negotiations and successfully secured the extension of our client’s leave to remain. The judicial review was withdrawn, and the client’s costs were paid by the respondent.
Collating the required evidentiary documentation to extend your tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is an onerous task and requires an in-depth knowledge of Home Office requirements. Failure to send the correct documentation can result in frustrating delays and the additional expense of having to resubmit your application.
By instructing our London-based immigration solicitors, you can be assured that the correct documentation will be collated and submitted in the required format.
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London and is a Legal 500 leading firm. By making an appointment with one of our business immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 020 7936 9960 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and Human Rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.
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Posted on: Tuesday, 28 November, 2017