UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is going to be removed and replaced with a new visa category at the end of this month. The removal of this visa is considered to be one of the largest shakeups of the Immigration system for the last 20 years.
On 7 March 2019, The Home Office published its statement of changes (HC1919) giving details to the anticipated Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) closure, and introducing the Tier 1 (Innovator) and (Start up) categories which will replace it.
The closure of the route will take effect from 29 March 2019. However, applications submitted on or before 28 March 2019 will still be considered under the Entrepreneur category.
If an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain has been made before 29 March 2019, such applications will be decided in line with the Immigration Rules in force on 28 March 2019.
However, migrants currently on the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa will not be affected by these changes and will be able to continue on the visa as normal while the extension applications for visa holders can be made until the 5 April 2023.
TWO NEW VISA ROUTES FOR ENTREPRENEURS
The Government has announced two new visa routes for entrepreneurs: The start-up visa and the innovator visa
- The start-up visa – this visa category is designed for those who are looking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants need to present an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which should be supported by an endorsing body. This visa program is an expanded version of the Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa, which allowed universities to endorse international students.
- The innovator visa – this visa category is designed for more experienced business people aim to establish a business in the UK. Just like the start-up visa category, applicants will require to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea that should be supported by an endorsing body.
The key requirement under both these categories is that applicants will need to obtain an endorsement from a relevant Home Office approved body such as UK higher education institutions which meet specific requirements, and organizations with a proven track record of supporting UK entrepreneurs.