A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa provides a gateway to entry and settlement in the UK for non-EEA individuals who wish to launch a start-up or invest in and become a director of a UK company running the business. There are advantages to entering Britain on the entrepreneur visa route; an applicant can bring their dependent family members with them, and there is also an opportunity to fast-track settlement applications if certain criteria are met.
However, the refusal rate for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is high. According to immigration statistics, in the last quarter of 2017, 48% of entrepreneur visa applications were declined. The toughening up of rules surrounding the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route resulted from a spate of bogus applications in recent years. Now those wishing to enter the UK on an entrepreneur visa must have a first-rate application, demonstrating they can meet the visa requirements and add value to the economy.
The three key reasons for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applications being refused are as follows:
One – Not Committing to the Process
Entrepreneurs who have run companies and acquired the necessary investment funds of £50,000 or £200,000 are highly-motivated self-starters who are used to winning. If your schedule is already packed with travel and meetings, it is hard not to view a visa application as simply one part of a large to do list placed down the list of priorities.
This is a mistake.
UK Visas and Immigration will examine each Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application diligently. You must take the time to fill in the application correctly, submit the required supporting documents in the specified format, and prove that you meet the required standards. If you wish to enter the UK via the entrepreneur visa route, you need to make the application process your number one priority.
Two – Presenting your Standard Business Plan
Most business plans created by Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicants as part of the Genuine Entrepreneur Test are best-in-class; designed to attract investment and loan capital. Unfortunately, your existing business plan may not fit for purpose to use as a part of your visa application. Immigration caseworkers are not investors; in fact, many have little or no commercial experience at all. Their focus is on whether you can meet the statutory requirements of the visa. Although financial information is important, your business plan needs to clearly demonstrate that you understand and have experience in your business sector and have conducted thorough competitor research. You should also demonstrate some knowledge of UK employment law, as part of the requirement to gain an extension is to have created at least two full-time jobsfor settled workers that have existed for at least a year.
It is well worth investing in having a professional guidance over your business plan which helps UKVI decision-makers to check you have a clear understanding of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa requirements and have the resources and knowledge to meet them.And never simply download a business plan from the internet – your application may get rejected immediately.
Three – Performing Badly at the Interview
It is very much possible that the applicant will be invited by the visa officer for the interview. Many fails at this stage. Preparation is the key to success. Abraham Lincoln once quipped that if he had eight hours to cut down a tree, he would spend six sharpening his axe. This is precisely the attitude you should have regarding your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa interview. Take the time to research the common questions asked and prepare your answers. Know your business plan inside out. And if possible, run through a mock interview with a professional advisor, who can quickly identify any weaknesses in your responses, help you strengthen answers, and ensure you feel confident and prepared.
Take nothing for granted when applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. Even if you have run successful ventures in your home country, there is no guarantee you will be granted entry into the UK. By working with a professional immigration lawyers, your chances of being successful in the visa application increase. They will spot any weak points in your application and collate the required supporting documents,advise you in writing a solid business plan tailored to immigration requirements,and help you to prepare for Home Office interview.
When it comes to applying for an entrepreneur visa, it is better to be prepared well than risking the visa application which may lead to the refusal.