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TIER 1 START-UP VISA

In the recent Statement of changes HC919 published on 7 March 2019, the Home Office has finally confirmed the end of the road for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur visas. These popular business visas for entrepreneurs will no longer be available from the 29 March 2019 and they will be replaced with the Tier 1 Start-up and Tier1 Innovator visa.

What is the Tier 1 Start-up visa?

The new Tier 1 Start-up Visa category has been described as an expanded version of the Graduate entrepreneur visa route. The visa will be available to anyone who is going to, for the first time, start a business in the UK. If you are an approved applicant, you will be granted a visa for two years and will be able to switch to the new Tier1 Innovator Visa which will allow you to continue to work and have your business in the UK.

The Start-up Visa is for new entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK for the first time. Those applying will not need to have any funds to invest in their business and must not have previously setup a business in the UK.

Those applying will be granted leave for 2 years and will be permitted to bring can your family members (spouses/partners and children under 18) to theUK.

During this 2 year granted period of leave, those who applywillspendthe majority of their time working on their businesses but you will also be allowed to take on other work to support yourself.

At the end of 2 years, If you area Start-up Visa holder, you will be able to switch to the Innovator Visa to extend your stay and develop your business further in the UK.

Tier 1 Start-up endorsement requirement

The Home Office will no longer carry out a genuine entrepreneur test in reviewing an Applicants business idea. Home Office has now introduced a credibility assessment/endorsement requirement for the Tier 1 Start-up visa. Applicants should secure an endorsement from a UK higher education institution or a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs. Applicants are required to submit their business idea alongside a detailed business plan to arelevant endorsement body. The endorsement body will review whether the business is innovative, viable and scalable. The endorsement body must provide a letter to the Applicant confirming the details listed under Appendix W of the Immigration Rules.

What are the requirements for a Tier 1 Start-up visa?

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Applicants must meet theEnglish language requirement(Level B2).You can prove your knowledge of English byeither:
    1. passing an approved English language test with atleast CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
    2. having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD
    3. You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve already proved it to be level B2 or above in an earlier successful application.
  • Applicants must meet the maintenance requirement
  • Applicants must receive a suitable endorsement

Endorsement & Endorsing Bodies for New UK Start-up Visa?

Before you apply you need to have your business or business idea assessed by an approved body. They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is viable

All applicants for entry clearance or leave to remain must have been endorsed in this category by an endorsing body listed on the gov.uk website.The applicant is required to apply to there levant endorsing body in order to obtain endorsement and that would only be granted when the endorsing body carries out a full analysis of the business plan, itsviability and scalability. Once endorsement is granted, the applicant can make application under Tier 1 Start-up Visa.

The endorsing bodies has specified certain requirements that they will look for which include:

  • Innovation – it is likely they will assess whether the business products, marketing or branding display any innovation. Here a focus on new methods, branding and perhaps most significantly new inventive products or services will be assessed.
  • Viability–it will not be enough simply be innovative, it is likely that the business will need to show that it has thought about and made plans to be viable. Essentially this means a careful assessment of whether the business will be able to provide the product or service in question, and whether it will be able to maintain cash flow until profitability. It is unlikely that the business plan that does not have a clear route to profitability will be accepted.
  • Scalability – this is relevant to start-ups most of all – business plans will need to have clear goals to scale. This is relatively easy for tech companies who are built to scale up from the outset. However, all is not lost for companies in other sectors or others who are experts in other forms of businesses.

Fees

The fees for main applicant and any dependants applying with them will be £363 each, if you are applying from Outside UK and £493 each if they are switching or extending from Inside UK.

In addition to this there will be the healthcare surcharge fees which will be £400 per year per person.

Supporting yourself/ Maintenance

You need to have had at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply. Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. You must also have £630 for each dependant in addition to the £945 you need to support yourself for the relevant 90 day period.

How long you can stay

You can stay for up to 2 years if you:

  • Come to the UK on an Start-up visa
  • Switch to this visa from another visa

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK on one of the following visas:

  1. Tier 1 (GraduateEntrepreneur)
  2. Tier 4 (General) student visa
  3. Any Tier 2 visa
  4. Standard Visitor visa - if you came to the UK to get funding and had a supporting letter from an endorsing body

You cannot apply to extend this visa. Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.

You can only stay for a total of 2 years even if you’re granted a new visa with a new endorsement. Any time you’ve already spent in the UK on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa also counts as part of the 2 years.

Settlement

You will not be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) in this category but you will be able to switch to a different category ( Tier 1 Innovator) which may be eligible for settlement.

How long it takes

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. Once you submit an application, a decision will be made on your application within 3 weeks.

How can we assist you

We area specialist team of solicitors in EastLondon. We have maintained a 99% success rate all through in our previous Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your Tier 1 Start-up visa application and the merit of an application before your application even been submitted.

We can assist you with the preparation of your Tier 1 Start-up visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules and providing the best outcome of the application.

Note: Your personal savings must not include money used as the basis of your points claim to have £200,000 in investment funds.

Contact our solicitor immediately for legal advice and you need to take action in timely,
Call us on 020 3130 1747 or E-Mail us at info@legendsolicitors.org

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