By Kasia Janucik
Kasia Janucik is one of our experienced London business immigration lawyers and UK employment lawyer at Legal 500 recommended immigration firm OTS Solicitors. She regularly advises clients on all aspects of business immigration law, whether individuals seeking Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa or Investor Visas, or sole representative visa, or alternatively companies looking for support with Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application and extensions and Intra-Company transfers. Her experience as an employment lawyer is particularly valuable when advising on the ongoing obligations that must be met under business immigration routes.
Highly ranked as a Legal 500 recommended Immigration Law firm handling business immigration matters, OTS Solicitors has an excellent track record representing Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa clients planning to set up new business in the UK. Kasia Janucik recently handled a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application when the applicant’s proposed business was a franchise. This particular application also shone a spotlight on the requirement for the applicant to be able to demonstrate transferrable skills, and the different ways this can be achieved. We are delighted to announce that this application has been successful.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route is available to individuals with at least £50,000 to invest in the UK either in an existing business or in setting up a new business. There are a number of eligibility requirements which, on the face of it, seem straightforward, but many business immigration lawyers will confirm that preparation and attention to detail are the key to success.
Establishing business expertise against a non-standard background
It’s a priority that the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicant can demonstrate his or her business acumen - their ‘entrepreneurship’. When it comes to a franchise business, this can be difficult because there is less opportunity to demonstrate ‘novelty’ (unless the applicant wishes to create the franchise itself, rather than setting up a franchise business).
Many applicants for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa will be able to demonstrate a track record of business experience, but this is not always the case. Even if the applicant has a fantastic entrepreneurial idea, they may fail to persuade the Home Office that they have the necessary business knowledge and entrepreneurial flair to make the idea a reality, and fulfil the ongoing obligations of the visa, including the investment of funds and creation of at least two full time jobs.
An experienced immigration lawyer will be able to look beyond the immediate experience and establish transferable skills that the individual may be able to demonstrate in support of their application for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.
Demonstrating that the individual will be working in the business
It’s a condition of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa that the applicant only works in the business he or she is investing in – so it’s important to be able to demonstrate their role in the business. In the case of a franchise business, where much support may be provided by the franchisor, it’s important for the applicant franchisee to look beyond the support they might receive from the franchisor and explain their personal involvement in the franchise business. This will be extensive, covering much of the day to day running and ongoing business planning.
Understand what the Home Office will be looking to establish during an interview
The Home Office may well look to scrutinise the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application during an interview with the applicant. It’s vital that the applicant knows the business they are intending to set up inside out, with a clear grasp of finances and all aspects of the operation they are planning to establish in the UK. OTS lawyers will take time to challenge the applicant’s business plan to ensure that it is robust and will stand up to scrutiny by the Home office officials considering the visa application.
Our client has recently had news of the grant of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa as a franchise business owner, and we at OTS Solicitors couldn’t be more delighted. As the points explained below highlight, it is possible to be successful applying for this visa route even as a franchise business owner, and even for those with a less-conventional background. This case highlighted the need for practical and intelligent legal advice tailored to the specific facts of the applicant – something OTS Solicitors was proud to deliver.
OTS Solicitors is highly recommended for all aspects of business immigration. We regularly offer advice and support for those applying under the Tier 1 visa route, including entrepreneurs and investors. If you have any queries about your visa application, please get in touch by calling 0203 959 9123 to book your appointment.
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Posted on: Friday, 13 July, 2018