A few months on from the EU Referendum and the UK’s decision to ‘Brexit’, what does the future hold for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

For the internationally mobile high net worth family, the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has always been a favourite route for UK residency and ultimately UK citizenship. It has become even more attractive since 2014 when the Tier 1 Investor Visa investment requirement doubled to £2 million.

The essence of the Entrepreneur Visa route requires individuals to invest a minimum of £200,000 into a new or existing business and recruit the equivalent of two full-time employees. With the increased interest, the UK Home Office has become much stricter with applicants seeking to invest in existing UK businesses, viewing the practice as “investor light”. This means that genuine entrepreneurs applying for the Entrepreneur Visa are well-advised to seek the services and ongoing advice of specialist immigration firms, particularly those based in London.

“Although the effects of Brexit to the economy as a whole have so far been mixed, the UK economy has been resilient, and we believe that the attractiveness of the UK for entrepreneurial innovation and foreign investment opportunities will certainly continue,” says Stacey Body, CEO of Tier 1 Global Business Consultants (T1GBC) in the City. “Business people around the globe are reviewing the post-Brexit opportunities as the UK becomes increasingly open to foreign investment, which the former Chancellor reinforced in his last speech. To the international investor, the UK now looks a great deal ‘cheaper’, and we have seen a significant increase in enquiries post the Brexit decision, as those sitting on the sidelines awaiting the June 23rd vote are now acting fast through fear of missing out.”

Potential candidates for the Entrepreneur Visa are not guaranteed success with their Tier 1 EV application and the rejection rate is high for those who are ill-prepared or who cannot properly meet the requirements, one of which is the ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test. Currently, approximately 73% of all applications made by Chinese nationals are rejected and of that percentage, a ¼ do not successfully extend their application past the initial 3-year period.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) made reference to these issues in their September 2015 report and made some significant recommendations to the Home Office. Professionals such as T1GBC are working with the Home Office in shaping the future of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. Body says proudly: “T1GBC was the first business consultancy to specialise in helping international entrepreneurs to start their innovative businesses here in the UK; our exceptional knowledge and rigorous processes means that our clients continue to enjoy our 100% success rate.”

With the clock ‘ticking’ on the current Tier 1 Entrepreneur rules, we suggest any entrepreneur who has been considering making an application to begin the process as soon as possible.

Please contact us if you have any questions. Our specialist Immigration Associates in Cape Town, London and the Isle of Man will be happy to assist you in regard to all UK and Isle of Man Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Investor Visa Applications, EEA Family Permits, and Residence Cards applications.