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The UK Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and the UK Tier 1 Innovator Visa EXPLAINED

Very useful information if you are seeking advice on the NEW Tier 1 Start-Up Visa or the NEW Tier 1 Innovator Visa

The document entitled “Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules” which was released by the House of Commons on the 7th March 2019, outlined and advised us on a number of changes that will come into place that will affect the Tier 1 UK Investor Visa amongst other visa programmes and schemes. This article will brief you on the announcement of a NEW Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and also the NEW Tier 1 Innovator Visa schemes.

NEW Tier 1 Start-Up Visa

In 2018, when Sajid Javid made this announcement, it was unclear if this new visa would, in fact, replace the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. However, it is now evident that the Graduate Entrepreneur visa programme will be closed from 6th July 2019 (people can still apply to this until the 5th July 2019).

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 Tier 1 Innovator Visa (discussed further below) 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 set up 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 the UK.

During this 2 year granted period of leave, those who apply will spend the 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 are a Start-up Visa holder, you will be able to switch to the Innovator Vusa to extend your stay and develop your business further in the UK.

For more information on how to get started on acquiring a Tier 1 Start-up Visa please contact us, Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors. We can help you with all the relevant documentation surrounding this application process and advise you on the best avenues to take with regards to your specific application.

NEW Tier 1 Innovator Visa

Another big change that is about to take place in the area of UK Immigration on 29 March 2019, is the fact that the new Tier 1 Innovator Visa will replace the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa.

This replacement visa option, i.e. the Tier 1 Innovator Visa is being created to accommodate more established business people. In order to apply for this visa option:

Applicants must invest £50,000 (reduced from the £200,000 needed for the entrepreneur visa) into their business and will be exempt from this requirement if they are switching over from a Tier 1 UK Start-up Visa.

If you are successful you will be granted leave for 3 years at a time and can also bring your family members (spouses/partners and children under 18) to the country.

As an innovator, you must work entirely on developing your business idea and can not work for other employers.

After 3 years, as an innovator, you can apply to extend your stay for a further 3 years or to settle permanently in the UK.

A statement on the upcoming changes outlines three specific endorsement criteria to be eligible for a UK Innovator Visa, including:

Innovation – You as an applicant need to have an original and innovative idea and this must be demonstrated in your business plan.

Viability – You as an applicant must be able to show that you have the necessary skill, responsible mindset and knowledge to run a business properly.

Scalability – You as an applicant must have evidence to show that you are capable of structured planning and the potential for job creation and growth for the UK national and global markets

Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors has an exceptional legal team that can help you with advice that covers the new UK Tier 1 Innovator Visa. We can assess your business idea, assess your business plan and also your viability status. We will also take care of all the relevant documentation surrounding your case and happily advise you on the best route to take for yourself and your business interests.

Established in 1985, our firm has the reputation of being the best immigration law firm in London and one of the top immigration law firms in the UK. We have over 30 years of experience and are listed in the legal 500 Hall of Fame. We have a team of specialist lawyers and support staff of great ability and experience. To cater for our clients varied legal services needs we also offer them legal advice on other areas of law namely property, commercial, civil litigation, employment, intellectual property and wills and probate.