By Teni Shahiean of OTS Solicitors
With a proposal tabled in the House of Lords last week to withdraw the Tier One Investor Visa in January 2017, high-net-worth investors will need to explore other options if they wish to take advantage of the robust and prosperous UK market.
An alternative avenue is the Tier One entrepreneur visa. Although there are a few more administrative requirements attached to the granting of this visa, the funds required to invest are £200,000 as opposed to £2 million under the investor route.
Criteria for a Tier One entrepreneur visa
To be eligible for a UK entrepreneur visa applicants must prove:
- They have at least £200,000 held in a regulated financial institution which they are free to spend on investing in their own or a pre-existing business; or
- Evidence of £50,000 available from either a registered venture capital firm regulated by the FSA, an approved UK seed funding competition or a UK government department that has made the funds available for the purposes of starting a business.
For the purposes of this article, I will be concentrating on the requirements for investors who have £200,000 available.
Investors wishing to obtain an entrepreneur visa also need to show evidence of the following:
- An adequate knowledge of English;
- A score of 95 points on the Points Based System requirements;
- A detailed business plan;
- They have passed the 'Genuine Entrepreneur Test';
- They will be a director in a UK business; and
- They can support themselves and any dependents financially.
The advantages of a Tier One entrepreneur visa
The advantages of the UK entrepreneur visa are numerous and include:
- Access to the UK's renowned health care and education system
- The right to bring family (your spouse and any children under 18) with you to the UK
- The right to reside and work anywhere in the country
- The ability to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years, (or less if you have the required turnover) and ultimately British Citizenship
Why OTS Solicitors is perfectly placed to assist entrepreneur visa applicants
Our immigration specialists have years of experience assisting high-net-worth investors in obtaining entry into the UK via the entrepreneur visa route. Your application will be managed by a dedicated solicitor who will work with you from start to finish on creating a clear, concise and ultimately successful application.
The Home Office has tightened the application process for the Tier One entrepreneur visa in recent years and for entrepreneurs wanting to launch a new venture in the UK, only around 50% are granted a visa. This is because many applicants struggle to pass the 'Genuine Entrepreneur Test’.
Passing the ‘Genuine Entrepreneur Test’
The 'Genuine Entrepreneur Test’ was introduced by the Home Office in 2013. It is designed to ensure that applicants for the entrepreneur visa have the ability and intention to set up and run a business in Britain.
A large amount of documentation is required by the Home Office to support an entrepreneur visa application. We will assist you in collating the information you need and ensure you are in a strong position to pass the test.
We understand what the Home Office is looking for in an application. We will provide expert advice on:
- showing the viability and credibility of the source of your investment funds
- creating a comprehensive business plan that proves you have researched the market, your competitors and have a clear plan for growth
- creating clear, well-forecasted financial plans with the help of highly experienced financial advisors
- pointing out the weaknesses in your application and advise you on the steps to take to amend these
- making sure your application is credible and consistent
Investing in an existing business
Investors who chose to put their funds and expertise into an existing business have a high chance of successfully obtaining an entrepreneur visa. At OTS Solicitors, we have valuable contacts within the wealth management and business industry and can put you in touch with companies looking for foreign investment. Under the Entrepreneur route, investors must become a director in the company they choose to invest their finds into and the investment must be used for business development/expansion. We can assist applicants in proving that they have knowledge and expertise in your chosen industry and will undertake due diligence to ensure the company you plan to invest in is genuine and in good financial health.
How we work
Our immigration team is widely regarded as well-informed, practical and commercially minded. We collaborate with our clients when it comes to their legal matters, forming enduring partnerships, which allows us to get to know their commercial goals and ambitions in detail.
When you engage our services you can expect the following standard of service:
- Based on the information you provide us, detailed advice as to the UK immigration laws that apply to your visa application
- A clear, concise discussion with your solicitor, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your application
- Advice as to what documentation you will need to provide to support your application
- Assistance with filling in the relevant application forms
- Full follow-up with the UK Border Agency if there are any questions or problems with your application
- Your lawyer will prepare strong, detailed legal representations setting out the legal framework to support your application
OTS Solicitors is registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We can offer a fixed fee service for business clients in some circumstances. We can also offer payment options if required.
The Tier One entrepreneur visa provides an alternative to those who cannot acquire the £2 million to apply for an Investor Visa. It also provides investors with the opportunity to control their own destiny and have the satisfaction of creating or growing a thriving business in the UK.
Our team of expert solicitors have a proven track record of having applications for the entrepreneur visa approved and can put you in touch with third parties who can assist you with settling into life in the UK.
To find out more on how we can advise you, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our team. We would be happy to offer an initial consultation over the phone, or you can make an appointment to see us in our London office.
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.
Our top immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.
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Posted on: Wednesday, 18 May, 2016