The Tier 1 entrepreneur category is for those who wish to invest in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom. The category encourages business growth and job creation in the UK. The significant rise in applications made under this category from 250 in 2010 to just over 5,000 last year was perceived as being a result of targeted abuse.

The government responded to this rise by introducing a series of restrictive measures. For the latest changes see below:

Latest changes

In July we reported on the removal of the ability of Tier 1 (Post Study Work) migrants to switch into the Tier 1 (entrepreneur) category from within the UK. The target then was “those who have come here for the purpose of study and are making speculative or fraudulent applications simply to extend their stay in the UK.”

The latest change is set to come in on 6 November 2014 and seeks to prevent those wishing to apply from within the UK from relying on funds which are outside the UK. The purpose of this change is to make it easier for UKVI caseworkers to verify the genuineness of the funds.

Action points

The government is currently refusing two out of three applications submitted. Entrepreneurs seeking to set up or join a business in the UK should check that they are able to:

  • demonstrate the genuineness of their business plan
  • provide proof of the legitimacy of the source of funds
  • provide all relevant supporting documents to assist the Home Office in its review of the application