The United Kingdom immigration process is defined through a set of laws that have been passed over the last few years. These laws serve as the basis for a document known as the UK Immigration Rules that defines procedures and regulations for all visa types currently functional in the UK. A ‘visa’ is a document granted to any individual as a form of proof so that they can legally enter the country. In the UK, the visa is divided into 5 categories out of which 4 are currently functional, and exist to cater to any scenario an individual might wish to come to the UK under. These 4 categories are titled Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 and each is further divided into several subcategories. To elaborate, a person who wishes to come to the country for business purposes will apply on a different visa category than a person who wishes to enter for study purposes.
The Home Office, the department of the UK government that is in charge of handling immigration related cases including cases of asylum, detention and deportation, is headed by the Secretary of State who is obliged to abide by the immigration laws of the country. Any person who wishes to apply for a visa will submit his/her application to the Home Office which will further examine the case and decide whether the person should be granted a visa or not. In the scenario a visa application is rejected, a letter detailing the reason and informing the applicant of his/her right to appeal the decision is explained. It is not an unusual scenario that an appeal to a UK court resulted in the Home Office’s decision being changed in favor of the applicant.
The chances of a visa also vary depending on the applicant’s country of origin. This means that a country with a history of abuse of the UK’s immigration laws will result in a lower chance for the applicant of that country in having his/her visa application granted. Also, European Union (EU) citizens should note that as a result of the free movement agreement titled the ‘Schengen Agreement’, they can travel, stay, work and settle in the UK without any visa requirement. Citizens of the UK can also do the same in any EU country. Thus, the following article shall look at the visa application process for applicants who are non-EU citizens.
The following blog will look at the UK entrepreneurs visa category of the Tier 1 visa that exists for individuals who wish to enter country to start or run a business and invest in the UK. Although this is a general definition of this category, the Home Office will assess the nature of the business and check if it is of an entrepreneurial nature before granting the applicant a visa on this category. Other categories of the Tier 1 include the general category, UK investor visa category, UK graduate entrepreneur visa category and exceptional talent category.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa exists for individuals who wish to come to the UK for investment purposes of an entrepreneurial nature and to start or run a business in the country. This category is only applicable to non-European citizens.
What is the Points Based System and how is it related to the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?
The Points Based System is a measuring system set up by the UK government for visa applications, that helps determine whether an applicant has the minimum points required to be eligible for the visa category or not. Points are gained each time the applicant fulfills a visa requirement, and when enough requirements have been met that the applicant has secured enough points required for a visa category, he/she can be eligible for the visa. The number of points required varies from visa category to category and is dependent on the visa type also. For example, 75 points are required to be eligible for the Tier 1 UK investor visa while 95 points are required to be eligible for the Tier 1 UK graduate entrepreneur visa.
A total of 95 points are required to be eligible for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Several requirements exist with varying number of points that can be fulfilled to secure points. Such as:
If the applicant has funds greater than GBP 50,000 and less than GBP 200,000 available for investment purposes in the UK, and cannot fulfill the above mentioned condition of producing this sum from government or private institutions, then he/she must fulfill one of the following requirements:
Also, as per the codes of practice that exists for sponsors in the Tier 2 visa, the applicant’s job must exist in the National Qualifications Framework’s list of occupations and must be level 4 and above.
So, by fulfilling all of the above mentioned requirements, a total of 95 points can be secured.
What if a person wish to apply for an extension to stay in the United Kingdom on the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?
Individuals currently staying in the UK on the Tier 1 UK Entrepreneurs visa are legally allowed to apply for an extension to stay in the UK. A total of 95 points will be required to be eligible for extension. This can be secured by fulfilling the following requirements:
The fulfillment of all of these requirements will result in the required points to be eligible i.e. 95 points.
For applicants applying for extension under this category, registration for self-employment or for a business that was taken over or started must have been made within 6 months after the applicant entered the country under this category and proof of the date the applicant arrived in the UK exists. But, if there is no proof regarding the date the applicant entered the UK, the date he/she was granted the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa will be considered. Or if the applicant switched to this category from another category, again the date he/she was granted this visa will be considered.