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Only 3 weeks left to apply for Entrepreneur visa

29 March 2019 is not just a Brexit day; the immigration world is going to remember it because of very drastic changes to the UK Immigration Rules. Let’s see how new rules will affect investor and entrepreneur visa categories.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur categories

From 30 March 2019, those coming to the UK to start a business will need to apply in new Innovator and Start-up categories respectively (Graduate Entrepreneur applications will be accepted till 5 July 2019). They are said to be broader and contributing more to the UK economy.

From the point of view of applicants, they will now have to be endorsed by UK trusted bodies, e.g. government agencies, universities, etc. It means that all business ideas will be evaluated as to how innovative, viable and scalable they are. Moreover, the applicants will need to stay in touch with their endorsing bodies to show the progress of their business.

Besides, an English language requirement has gone up from B1 to B2 level.

Start-up visa

This route will be open for applicants who intend to establish a new business for the first time in the UK. Key features of this visa:

  • No need to be a graduate
  • No initial funding required
  • First visa will be given for 2 years instead of one

After 2 years, possibility to switch to the Innovator visa

Innovator visa

In contrast to the Start-up category, this visa will be open to more experienced entrepreneurs. Key features of this visa:

  • £50,000 must be invested in a business, significant reduction from the current £200,000
  • Funds must be from a legitimate source
  • No investment required for those switching from the Start-up category, though significant achievements must be demonstrated

Route leading to settlement in 3 years

Tier 1 Investor category

This route will not be cancelled; it will remain open to affluent foreign individuals who wish to invest at least £2 million in the UK. Key changes include:

  • Funds must be held in a bank account for 2 years instead of 90 days
  • Banks will be required to carry out and provide evidence of due diligence checks on investors
  • No investment in government bonds will be allowed
  • Tighter rules around the use of intermediary vehicles
  • Stronger evidence must be provided to show the business is active and trading

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