Effective from 29th March 2019, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur & Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur will be replaced by the Tier 1 Start-Up andTier 1 Innovator categories.
❖ The Innovator Visa is to be aimed at those who can demonstrate relevant experience in business .
❖ Will need to demonstrate have a minimum Investment of £50,000.00.
❖ Endorsement for initial applications will be based on assessment whether the Applicant’s business ideas are Innovative, Viable and Scalable.
❖ This route does lead to settlement.
LENGTH OF VISA
❖ 3 Years
➢ There is no maximum time limit placed on the Applicant to remain in the UK under this category, but endorsement will be required at the extension and settlement stages.
❖ After 3 Years can apply for Settlement
❖ After 1 year of attaining Settlement – Can apply for British Citizenship
➢ £50,000.00 investment in the business from any legitimate source, reduced from £200,000.00 for most applicants in the current Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category. This investment is waived if the applicant is switching from the Start-Up Visa.
➢ The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
❖ Credibility Assessment
➢ Genuine intention to undertake, and to be capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in their Application.
➢ The Applicant does not intend to work in the UK in breach of their conditions.
➢ Any money which the applicant claims to be available is genuinely available as described, and the applicant intends to use it for the purposes described in the Application.
➢ The Home Office will further take into account any endorsement of the Applicant and may also take into account additional factors:
▪ Evidence the Applicant has submitted and its credibility;
▪ Applicant’s previous Academic history, Vocational Experience and Immigration history;
▪ Declarations made to other government departments regarding the applicant’s previous employment and other activity in the UK.
➢ The Home Office may ask the Applicant to attend an interview or to provide additional information and evidence.
➢ Applicant must obtain endorsement. The Applicant’s must ascertain an Endorsement Letter.
➢ The Applicant can choose to apply as a Sole Founder of the business or as a member of an Entrepreneurial Team.
❖ Endorsement Criteria
➢ Innovation – Applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
➢ Viability – Applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
➢ Scalability – there is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.
❖ Endorsing Bodies
➢ Applicant will be asked to stay in contact with their respective endorsing body with checkpoints after 6 and 12 months.
➢ The endorsing bodies will monitor whether the Applicant is continuing to work on their business ventures and have either demonstrated reasonable progress with their original ideas or are pursuing new business ideas that are also innovative, viable and scalable.
❖ Maintenance Funds
➢ Applicant will need to show maintenance funds of £945.00 for a consecutive 90-day period ending no earlier than 31 days before the date of application.
➢ Applicant does not need to provide evidence of maintenance funds if the letter from their endorsing body confirms that they have been awarded at least £945.00.
❖ English Language
➢ Applicant must have good command of English to be able to communicate with variety of business organisations and potential customers. This can be demonstrated by one of the following:
- Being a national of a majority English speaking country;
- Passing an English language test proving a knowledge of English equivalent to level B2 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework;
- Holding a degree taught in English and equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above;
- Met as a previous grant of Leave.
❖ The category may also lead to settlement after 3 years’ continuous UK residence, provided a minimum of two of the following conditions are met:
- At least £50,000.00 has been invested and spent in the business;
- The business has created at least 10 full time jobs for resident workers;
- The business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full time jobs for resident workers paying at least £25,000.00;
- The business has generated gross revenue of at least £1 million;
- The number of the business’ customers has at least doubled in the 3 years and is higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable main products or services;
- The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK;
- The business is generating at least £500,000 in revenue with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas.