Due to recent changes in the Immigration Rules—especially the Points Based System—Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications from within the UK are almost impossible. Limited numbers of people are succeeding in either satisfying the specified evidence or passing the genuine test, which has become more of an assessment to fail applicants rather than allowing genuine entrepreneurs to enter or remain and invest in the UK.
The below success story is a unique scenario where we guided and assisted a team of two genuine entrepreneurs in switching their immigration status from Tier 2 (General) to a Tier 1 ( Entrepreneur) by forming an entrepreneurial team. In most cases, 2 entrepreneurs with the same experience, knowledge background, and nationality would be expected to form an entrepreneurial team. In this case, the scenario was different and could have led to potential doubts and questions from the Home Office at the time of application.
The entrepreneurial team was formed by a Pakistan national with knowledge and experience in customer service and an Indian national with experience and knowledge in the IT industry and manufacturing. They met while working for their Tier 2 Sponsor over a period of at least 1.5 years. While they were working for their Sponsor, the company received a compliance visit from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), and within a few months, their licence was revoked. Soon after the sponsor licence was revoked all employees on Tier 2 visas received curtailment letters, informing them that their leave as Tier 2 (General) migrants was curtailed and their visas would expire by a specific date.
Now jobless and wishing to remain working in the UK in the industry where they had previously gained experience, our clients looked at the option of investing £200,000 into a UK business. The team seemed to have the required funds for the investment, but they lacked a business plan and market research—essential to succeeding at the genuine test for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.
Following a referral from one of their friends, the team was directed to our firm to seek help with a potential application as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneurial team), considering all the above issues. At the time of the consultation, we also identified that their bank statements did not show that their funds of £200,00 had been held for a continuous period of 90 days.
Further, the team had only 3 months left on their leave to prepare and submitted their Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application. If they failed to do so, they would have to return to their home country.
During the consultation, we provided them with guidance and gave them confidence that their application had a high chance of success if they followed our proposed action plan. While preparing their application, we remained in continuous communication with the team and their business plan specialist, and we even assisted them in the bank process of obtaining additional information regarding their available funds.
The other challenge we faced was ensuring the team would successfully pass the interview with UKVI as part of the genuine test. Considering their immigration status at the time of switching into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, the chances of them being interviewed was high. We intensively prepared with a mock interview for the team to ensure that each aspect of their business plan/idea, intention, and documents was covered. Further, a thorough review of their market research and specified evidence was conducted while preparing their application.
We are proud to state that within 3 months of submitting their Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application the team was approved without the necessity of being cross-examined by an Interviewer Officer. It is another example of how expertise and careful preparation with A Y & J Solicitors leads to success.