United Kingdom: UKBA Toughens Standards for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Category
Applicants under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category may now need to demonstrate the credibility of their investment plans by passing a “genuine entrepreneur” test. Entrepreneurs must maintain their investments or retain full access to their funds throughout their stay, not just at the time of application.
Applicants for the United Kingdom’s Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category may now be required to pass a “genuine entrepreneur” test to confirm the credibility of their investment plans if the UK Border Agency has doubts about the legitimacy of their application. To keep their status, entrepreneurs must maintain their investments or retain full access to their funds throughout their stay, not just at the time of application. The new rules, which took effect January 31, seek to prevent perceived abuse of the entrepreneur category.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route is used by foreign nationals who do not meet the investment threshold for the Tier 1 (Investors) category. The minimum investment for the entrepreneur category is £200,000, though a lower minimum of £50,000 applies if the funds are provided by a registered venture capital firm, a UK government department, or a UK seed-funding competition endorsed by UK Trade & Investment.
As a general rule, entrepreneurs become eligible to apply for UK permanent residency after five years. The most successful entrepreneurs can apply after three years if they have established a new business that has created at least ten new full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK or if business revenue during the three-year period was at least £5 million.