The secrets of a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur application

The UK Home Office launched the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Scheme in 2008 with the intention to attract those talents wishing to set up or invest in businesses in the UK. After nearly a decade, more than 6,000 global entrepreneurs successfully obtained visas under this Scheme. Although the Home Office implemented a ‘genuine entrepreneurship test’ in 2013, the number of applications for this visa category has still remained around 400 people per quarter. However, the approval rate has dropped from around 75% to 50%. Thus, how to prepare a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application has become a key topic.

According to the requirements of the point-based system, applicants must obtain 95 points, including:

-25 points – You must demonstrate that you have access to funds of at least £200,000

-25 points – Your money is held in one or more regulated financial institutions

-25 points – Your money is disposable in the United Kingdom

The applicant needs to provide the bank letter or bank statements required by the Home Office to prove that they can meet the above requirements.

-10 points – English language requirements

-10 points – Maintenance requirements

If the applicant can obtain the above 95 points, the immigration officer will conduct the assessment according to the requirements of the genuine entrepreneur test. So what are the most important requirements for this test?

-The applicant genuinely intends and is able to invest in the business

-The viability and credibility of the business plan and market research of the chosen business sector

-The applicant’s previous educational and business experience

As a genuine entrepreneur, the Home Office expects to see someone who is a visionary, motivated and driven to success. They are willing to take risks and have the ability to solve problems. They need to show their creativity, passion, intelligence and business acumen. The immigration officer would first assess the applicant’s academic background and previous working experience. The more evidence you provide, the better you can prove your capabilities with the caveat that the documents provided are pertinent and specific to the application. The application will also need to be fully proficient and have a good understanding of the business plan.

Further, the immigration officer will judge the authenticity and feasibility of the project based on the contents of the business plan. It is the most important and the only material available to the Home Office to understand your future investment. If the business plan completely fails to highlight the features of the project or its competitiveness, the officer might doubt the profitability of the business and your genuine intention to invest in this company.

The applicant must be familiar with the operation of the business, and have knowledge of the commercial environment in the UK. For example, UK tax policies, national minimum wage and welfare policies for employees, etc. Of course, as a foreign investor, the officer won’t expect the applicant to know all relevant law or regulations, but the basic rules need to be understood.

In order to help our clients pass the genuine entrepreneur test, we will spend the majority of our time in reviewing and improving the business plan and also conducting interview training for the applicant.

If you are concerned about applying for a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice via [email protected]

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.


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