Home Office Analysis of Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas

A recent analysis by the Home Office into UK tax records has revealed a gap in immigration law that has seemingly been exploited by individuals as a means to extend their stay in the UK. The gap, which makes use of Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas, has been found to be allowing people to gain a UK visa under false pretences, forcing a clamp down on certain types of application.

The gap in the process has arisen in cases where individuals residing in the UK on a student visa have gone on to apply for an entrepreneur visa under Tier 1 of the Points Based System after their studies. The recent tax record analysis has revealed that many of those who are granted an entrepreneur visa straight from a study visa have then failed to set up the businesses that their new visas were conditional upon, choosing to take up low-skilled jobs instead.

It seems that the entrepreneur visa has become the target of individuals, as well as organised gangs after the post-study visa was discontinued in 2012, setting out to exploit the system and extend their stay by submitting fraudulent entrepreneur visa applications.

As a direct result of the analysis and the resulting findings, there will now be more restrictions placed on applicants who are transferring from a student visa to an entrepreneur visa, making it much more difficult to make an in-country category change between the two. Post-study applicants will now be required to provide more extensive evidence of their business or proposed business activities. Furthermore, they will need to prove that they have funds from a UK government approved source.

In a ministerial statement released by Immigration Minister James Brokenshire, he commented on the findings stating “Checks against the tax records of those who have been granted leave as entrepreneurs suggest that few have gone on to engage in genuine entrepreneurial activity, and that a significant proportion have taken employment in breach of their conditions, typically at low skill levels.”

This follows on from the recent ratification of the Immigration Act 2014, which aims to make immigration “fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system”.

If you’re unsure as to whether your Entrepreneur Visa application could be effected then speak to one of our experts today for no-obligation advice.

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