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Less than a month ago, the new Innovator Visa category was launched, which has replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. Experienced businesspeople seeking to establish a business in the UK will now have to meet the requirements under Appendix W of the Immigration Rules. Notable changes from the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is that the minimum required investment has dropped to £50,000, however, successful Applicants will first need to secure an endorsement from one of the Innovator Visa Endorsement Bodies.

Who are the new Innovator Visa Endorsement Bodies?

To be granted leave in the UK as an Innovator, Applicants must provide an endorsement letter from an official Home Office approved Endorsement Body and if applicable, demonstrate that they have either invested or have available to invest £50,000 into their business. The current list of Innovator Visa Endorsement Bodies is listed below:

  • The Bakery – has 4 programmes which will cover endorsements for individual entrepreneurs, early stage tech companies looking to accelerate growth, for start-ups looking to get revenue from their first big customer and who are looking for strategically aligned corporate investors
  • Seed Camp – A European seed fund that identifies and invests in world-class founders attacking large global markets. They have backed more than 650 founders and do not focus on any single sector
  • Invest Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland’s regional business development agency focused on growing the local economy. They are a part of the Department for Economy and support businesses by delivering the Government’s economic development strategies.
  • Zinc – Has a 9-month full-time company-builder programme which has a single mission to solve a social problem in the developed world.  According to their website, they anticipate they will be able to endorse Applicants for an appropriate UK visa including clinicians, engineers, financial services experts, creative designers, researchers, serial entrepreneurs, product managers, NGO innovators, life scientists, care managers, and others
  • Deep Science Ventures – Identifiesneglected high-value markets and are drivers of success and opportunities in these markets and builds science-based companies to address them
  • Wayra – Connects technological innovators with Telefónica to generate joint business opportunities. They run a series of programmes across multiple industries
  • Ignite – One of Europe’s leading accelerator programmes supporting founders from the idea stage through to raising Series A funding, refining concepts, building traction and building a scalable business
  • Bethnal Green Ventures – Invests in technology that has the potential to transform the world’s pressing environmental and social challenges
  • Codebase – Based in Edinburgh and is the largest technology incubator in the UK
  • Capital Enterprise – A body of connectors, influencers, investors and policy-makers who collaborate to scale Start-ups in London
  • Cylon – Focuses exclusively on growing cyber security businesses. To date, they have accelerated 76 companies in fields
  • TechX – Run by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre provides expertise and support as a technology accelerator and incubator for start-ups and SMEs looking to enter the oil and gas industry
  • Seed Haus – A pre-seed tech accelerator that invests in early-stage founders to build start-ups across multiple industries
  • Med City – Will support skilled business people working in life sciences
  • Scottish Edge – A competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s entrepreneurial talent
  • Royal Society Edinburgh – An educational charity that contributes to social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Scotland through the advancement of learning and useful knowledge. It covers a wide range of disciplines including science & technology, arts, humanities, social science, business and public service
  • Tech Nation – has long been an endorsing body for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa and route and will now also be an endorsing body for both Innovators and Start-ups. On their website, Tech Nation explain it is currently developing its own operating procedures for these routes and will not begin accepting or processing applications for digital technology entrepreneurs until September 2019
  • NatWest Entrepreneur AcceleratorRoyal Bank of Scotland Entrepreneur Accelerator and Ulster Bank Entrepreneur Accelerator – These banks each have three very similar programmes available: Pre-Accelerator, Accelerator and Fintech Accelerator
  • Set Squared Bristol – Launched by the University of Bristol in 2002 and currently supports over 80 innovative ventures
  • Set Squared Exeter – Runs a Business Acceleration programme and Business Incubator programmes at two locations in Exeter at the University of Exeter Innovation Centre and The University of Exeter Innovation Centre
  • Set Squared Southampton – Located at the University of Southampton’s Science park in Chilworth and provides support to the local high-tech community. They offer a Business incubation model with virtual, pre-incubation and incubation stage companies.
  • Set Squared Surrey – Also supports high-tech, high-growth start-ups in the Surrey Technology Centre. The programme does not take equity in businesses but rather helps members grow in its flexible office space.

For help understanding which Innovator Visa Endorsement Body is right for you, then contact our specialist Immigration Team to arrange a consultation with our Business Immigration Solicitors.

What are the other main requirements of the new Innovator Visa?

As well as getting an endorsement from one of the above-listed Endorsement Bodies, Innovator Visa Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are able to maintain themselves in the UK without recourse to public funds by providing bank statements showing they’ve had at least £945 in savings for 90 consecutive days before they apply. Alternatively, the endorsement body can confirm in the endorsement letter that it has awarded the appropriate amount of maintenance funding to the Applicant, similar to the way Tier 2 Sponsors can certify the maintenance for Tier 2 workers on their CoS.

Applicants also need to prove that the English language requirement is met at the minimum level B2. This can either be shown by:

  1. Passing an English language test at a Home Office approved test provider; or
  2. Having a degree which is a UK Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD, or a degree awarded by an establishment outside of the UK that is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree or a PhD or is from an educational establishment of certain countries; or
  3. If the Applicant is a national of a majority English speaking country.

Applicants can also meet the English language requirement without the need to provide evidence, if they have ever been given permission to stay in the UK in one of the following categories:

  • Start-up Visa;
  • Innovator Visa;
  • Tier 1 (General) Visa;
  • Tier 1 (Post Study Work) Visa;
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) under the rules in place before 13 December 2012;
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion);
  • Tier 4 (General) Visa – supported by a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies assigned on or after 21 April 2011.

Applicants will also need to provide evidence of their investment funds if they are setting up a new business and provide tuberculosis test results if they are from a country where they have to take the test.

Using Legal Representation to submit an Innovator Visa application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an Innovator Visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules for a visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds and meets the requirements, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully Secure an Endorsement from Innovator Visa Endorsement Bodies

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 UK Visa application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules under Appendix W.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss the new visa route.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post New Tier 1 Innovator Visa Endorsement Bodies appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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The Home Office introduced the Tier 1 Start-Up visa and Tier 1 Innovator visa last month. The Tier 1 Innovator visa has replaced the former Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and the Tier 1 Start-Up visa is set to formally replace the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur on 5 July 2019. However, no more endorsements for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur will be issued so only Applicants with an endorsement may apply before 5 July 2019. All new Applicants without an endorsement must apply under the Tier 1 Start-Up visa as this route is open. The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa is for graduates in the UK who are identified as credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills to establish one or more businesses in the UK.  

What is the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa?

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa is for graduates (non-EEA nationals) in the UK who are identified by Higher Education Institutions as business persons who have developed genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills to establish one or more business in the UK. Applicants who have been identified by the Department for International Trade as elite business persons can also apply under this route. The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa is perfect for students who have or are just finishing university and would like to set up a business in the UK. Applicants also apply for support in funding from the endorsement bodies.

What are the requirements for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa?

A Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application is made under the UK Immigration Rules and it is a Point Based System (PBS) application. Applicants must score 95 points (75 points for attributes, 10 points for maintenance and 10 points for the English language requirement). To score 75 points for attributes Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must secure an endorsement from a UK Higher Education Institution or Department for International Trade:
  • Applicants must submit an endorsement letter which has the following details:
    1. the business sector or business intended;
    2. the applicant has a genuine, credible and innovative business idea;
    3. the applicant will spend the majority of their time working on developing the said business; and
    4. on the extension of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, it must also show that the applicant has made satisfactory progress in developing the said business since the last leave was granted; and
  • Applicants must have been awarded a degree qualification at Bachelor’s or above.

To score 10 points for maintenance Applicants must be able to show that they have enough money (£1890 or £945) to support themselves in the United Kingdom. The money must be held for 90 consecutive days with the last statement dated 31 days before the date of the application. To score 10 points for English language Applicants must have English language skills to the required levels.

The benefits of securing a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa

Applicants who obtain a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa will be granted a visa for one year but they can apply for an extension for a further year or switch into another category. Applicants can apply to bring their family members over if they can meet the additional requirements. Applicants are able to participate in employment outside their business but it should be noted that they must be able to show progression in their business if they wish to apply for an extension. However, Applicants cannot access public funds and or settle under this visa. Applications can be submitted from within the UK or outside.

Using Legal Representation to Submit a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa Application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa Application

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application and the merit of your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your UK Visas and Immigration application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful Entrepreneur visa application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation for you to discuss a successful Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post Business Immigration – Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa remains open until 5 July 2019 appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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Our immigration team comprising of solicitors and barristers recently received the wonderful news that a client (the Applicant) has been granted a spouse visa to the UK, as the spouse of a British citizen. In our initial consultation, we discussed with the Applicant the requirements for a UK spouse visa under the Immigration Rules and we also explained the importance of meeting the requirements of Appendix FM and Appendix FM SE of the Immigration Rules. The Applicant informed us that she would be using the priority visa service so that she could receive an expedited decision. The Applicant’s application was well prepared and she received her spouse visa within 6 weeks from the date of submission.

The case for a UK spouse visa application

The Applicant is a Canadian national residing and working in Canada. However, the Applicant has worked in the United Kingdom in the past on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa. It was during this period she met her husband. The couple met on an online dating platform and started dating shortly after. The Applicant applied for an unmarried partner visa prior to the expiry of her Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa but unfortunately, her application was refused on the grounds that the requirements were not met. The Applicant returned to Canada and following this the Applicant married the Sponsor in Canada. The Applicant instructed our immigration team to prepare and assist with the submission of her spouse visa application.

What are the requirements for a UK Spouse visa application?

The UK spouse visa category is a popular family reunification visa for married couples. British or settled persons in the UK can apply to have their non-EEA spouse join them. The UK spouse visa application is governed under the Immigration Rules and further guidance is provided under Appendix FM and Appendix FM SE of the Immigration Rules. There also various Home Office guidance’s which explain the requirements.  All these instruments should read together for a successful application. To apply for entry clearance as a spouse you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be in a genuine and subsisting marriage with a British citizen, a person present and settled in the UK or someone who is in the UK with refugee leave or with humanitarian protection;
  • You must intend to reside with your spouse permanently;
  • You must have suitable accommodation for yourself, your spouse and any dependents;
  • You must meet the financial requirement of £18,600 (i.e. have enough money to support yourself, your spouse and any dependants without recourse to public funds). There are a number of different methods of meeting the financial requirement; and
  • You must satisfy the English language requirement.

If you are granted a spouse visa, you will be given leave to enter in the UK for 30 months after which you can apply for further leave to remain if you wish to continue to remain in the UK.

How we can assist submit a successful UK spouse visa application

The Applicant informed us that she wanted to purchase the Settlement Priority Visa Service as she wanted an expedited decision on her application. Our immigration team explained to the Applicant that it was imperative that her application was prepared to perfection as any little issue would result in her application being delayed or refused. It was important that the strict words of the Immigration Rules were followed and the requirements were met. Our solicitors and barristers successfully guided the Applicant through the application process and prepared strong legal representations which focussed on how the Sponsor satisfied the immigration rules for a spouse visa application. Unlike OISC regulated practices, Our solicitors and barristers are fully qualified at the highest level and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Body (SRA). Our specialist Immigration Team works closely with Applicants ensuring that all the mandatory documents are collected for the application.

In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provided multiple substantial reviews of her documents to ensure that Applicant submits the correct documentary evidence in the correct format, which meets the Home Office’s requirements. We also prepared and assisted the Applicant with the online visa application form and the financial requirements form.

Using Legal Representation to submit a UK spouse visa application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a spouse visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject spouse visa applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Immigration & Visa application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully apply for a UK spouse visa application

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 prospects of submitting a spouse visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a spouse visa application and are able to advise you in respect of your prospects and to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss an Entry Clearance Spouse Visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post Success Story – UK Spouse visa granted appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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The recent High Court case of R (Sri Lalithambika Foods Limited) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 761 (Admin) is another important lesson for Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence holders on how to remain compliant to the responsibilities of a Tier 2 Sponsor. It is important that Sponsors are aware of their on-going duties to avoid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Revocation. Our business immigration solicitors are experts with Points Based System applications and can conduct mock compliance audits to ensure Sponsors are fully prepared for any unannounced visits which will be conducted at any given time that the business has a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.

Background to the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Revocation Case

The Claimant had a South Indian restaurant which held an A-rated Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT) Sponsorship Licence since February 2014. During an unannounced Home Office compliance visit on 9 August 2016, the Home Office (“the Defendant”) requested sight of further documents which were to be emailed by 16 September 2016. However the day after the visit on 10 August 2016 there was a fire in the flat above the restaurant and the Defendant was notified of the same on 11 August 2016. On 9 February 2017 the Defendant informed the Claimant that its Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence was suspended (“the suspension letter”). On 7 March 2017 the Claimant sent the Defendant written representations and supporting material, however, a further letter dated 6 April 2017 from the Defendant confirmed his decision to revoke the Claimant’s Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence (“the revocation letter”) on the basis that the Claimant was in breach of the Home Office Guidance for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsors in respect of 14 matters.

The Claimant sent a Pre-Action Protocol letter on 31 May 2017 but the Defendant maintained his decision in a response dated 29 June 2017. The case then proceeded to Judicial Review. The Claimant argued that the Defendant’s decision to revoke the Sponsorship Licence was irrational and in most of the allegations was due to procedural unfairness as Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Revocation should be substantiated by evidence and not on suspicion alone. Based on the unannounced visit and interviews with staff, many of the breaches were related to the duties of the workers in relation to the SOC code, duties listed on their CoS and the skill level required for these positions. It was determined that the workers were not in-fact carrying out the relevant duties and did not have the required skill level. It was submitted that a large amount of evidence which could have proved otherwise was destroyed in the fire on 10 August 2016 and the Claimant was not given sufficient time to provide evidence in rebuttal of the accusations within the suspension letter.

The Court of Appeal’s decision in R on the application of Raj and Knoll Limited v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1329 (Admin) has striking similarities to this case, and makes it clear that it is not for the Defendant to piece together the necessary information to prove a sponsor’s compliance. Summarised by Tomlinson LJ at paragraph 41:

“The Appellant has failed to grapple with the simple point that, for good reason, it was required to maintain the electronic equivalent of a paper trail and that it failed to do so. It does not advance its case to question the necessity for each element in the trail.”

In this case, it was concluded that the Claimant has failed to keep sufficient records.

Judgement of the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Revocation Case

The Judge decided that on many of the 14 points alone would have been causing enough to revoke the Claimant’s Sponsorship Licence; therefore collectively it was abundantly clear that the Claimant had breached its duties as a Tier 2 Sponsor.  The Judge concluded that “the case emphasises that, as has been observed in previous judgments, sponsor status is a fragile gift which depends on absolute compliance with the requirements of the Guidance”.

There was overall a failure by the Claimant to respond sufficiently to the concerns expressed in the suspension letter. The appeal was therefore dismissed.

You can read the full judgement here: R (Sri Lalithambika Foods Limited) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 761 (Admin) | LEXVISA Immigration Lawyers London

What are the main Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence duties?

It is important that Tier 2 Sponsors are made aware of their duties as a Sponsorship Licence holder. The main duty is to ensure that all migrant workers have the right to work in the UK. Therefore, employers have a responsibility to ensure record keeping, amongst other things, is up to date. If there are any changes to the migrant worker’s circumstances, then the Sponsor has a duty to report this to the Home Office. It is common for the Home Office to conduct unannounced compliance visits to Sponsorship Licence premises. Therefore it is crucial that all the duties are maintained to avoid the suspension and/or subsequent revocation of the Licence.

LEXVISA specialises in Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence applications and can conduct a mock audit at a Tier 2 Sponsor or potential Tier 2 Sponsor’s business premises. Our business immigration solicitors are fully aware of a Tier 2 Sponsor’s duties and through experience are able to highlight the common mistakes made by businesses which may lead to their Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence not being granted, or being suspended or revoked.

Using Legal Representation to comply with Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Duties

Legal representatives, such as our specialist business immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to ensure you understand your duties and responsibilities of being a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Holder and help you ensure that your business is and remains compliant with all immigration requirements. Our immigration solicitors can help you conduct ‘mock immigration audits’ to help identify any potential issues which could be resolved before a ‘surprise’ UKVI Compliance Audit.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully comply with Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Duties

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you remain compliant to all the relevant rules.

Our offices are located in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to avoid your Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence being suspended or revoked. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Revocation Case Study: R (Sri Lalithambika Foods Limited) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 761 (Admin) appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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Under current legislation and because of the free movement of people, EU nationals and their family members can come to the UK without a visa, and remain here if they can demonstrate they are exercising Treaty Rights in the UK. After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, these people may then qualify for permanent residence and subsequent citizenship in the UK. However, this will all change once the UK (eventually) leave the UK, if at all. Whilst the Brexit deal is still very much up in the air, the Home Office has launched the EU Settled Status Scheme to allow EU nationals and their family members the right to continued residence in the UK. The uncertainty of Brexit can be daunting; however, our specialist immigration team can assist with any European applications to enter or remain in the UK and would be happy to arrange a consultation with our solicitors to discuss all available options in more detail.

What is the EU Settled Status Scheme?

The EU Settled Status Scheme allows EU nationals and their family members to live in the UK post-Brexit. Applicants will need to provide proof of identity and residence in the UK, unless they already have a valid permanent residence document or ILR in the UK, in order to apply for EEA Settled Status. Applicants who have not been in the UK for 5 years will be granted Pre-Settled Status until they reach 5 years when they can then change it to Settled Status. Applicants may be asked to provide evidence that they have been living in the UK if they are unable to confirm this through an automated check of UK tax and some benefits records. Applicants will also be asked about their criminal history and will be checked against the UK’s crime database. The Home Office website states that Applicants “may still get settled or pre-settled status even if you have other convictions. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis.”

The EU Settled Status Scheme is now open and the deadline for Applicants to apply is 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Applicants will still need to apply for settled status even if they have a registration certificate or permanent residence document. There is no Home Office fee for EU Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status applications.

Can I still make an Application under the current EEA Regulations?

EU nationals and their family members can still apply for status documents under the current EEA Regulations and once there is more certainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, then can simply convert their document under the EU Settled Status Scheme.

Currently, if an EEA national or their family member has 5 years lawful residence in the UK; they are eligible to apply for a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card respectively. EEA nationals and their family members who have been in the UK for less than 5 years are granted either a registration certificate or residence card. Whilst it is not necessary to have either of these documents to show proof of residence in the UK, it can be easier when trying to re-enter the country or for employment purposes. Extended family members of EEA nationals, on the other hand, are required to apply for a residence card to prove their status in the UK.

How can LEXVISA assist with making an Application as an EEA national or a Family Member of an EEA National?

LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors London a vast amount of experience and high success rate on EEA and family based applications. We offer a bespoke service to our clients which includes tailored advice, comprehensive document reviews and detailed legal representations accompanying the application which we prepare and submit. Our experienced solicitors have years of practical knowledge when it comes to preparing applications under the EEA Regulations as and understanding the comprehensive range of documents that the Home Office requires to make a timely decision on the application.

Using Legal Representation to apply under the EU Settled Status Scheme

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an application under the EU Settled Status Scheme.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your EU Settled Status application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application under the EU Settled Status Scheme meets the relevant rules.

Successful applications under the EU Settled Status Scheme

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 immigration status and the merit of your EU Settled Status application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your EU Settled Status application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful application under the EU Settled Status Scheme. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post Assistance making an application under the EU Settled Status Scheme with LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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We received some wonderful news this week that our client and his spouse’s (the Applicants) Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension applications had been granted. Our immigration team prepared the Applicant’s initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur application and we were instructed for a second time to prepare the extension application. During the preparation of the initial application, the Applicants were impressed with our immigration team’s specialist knowledge and the high level of service they had received. Our immigration team takes full responsibility in preparing applications and go over and beyond to ensure our clients have a stress free experience in submitting their Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications or any other UKVI application or appeal. The Applicants investment of £200,000 in the UK was not straightforward as they had invested the funds into a number of different companies. There were also complexities regarding the job creation requirement (see below). Despite the complexities of this case our immigration team successfully assisted the Applicants with their Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension and they were issued with their visas within 5 weeks.         

Background – Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application

The Applicants were nationals of Australia and they had set up a number of businesses in the United Kingdom. The Applicants had extensive qualifications and practical experience in their chosen field of business. In our initial consultation with the Applicants, our solicitors identified two potential issues with their application. The first was the investment of £200,000. The Applicants had invested the £200,000 in their primary business (related to their initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur application) but then loaned the money to their other businesses in the UK. The second issue was meeting the job creation requirement. The Applicants primary business had not created two full-time jobs or 4 part-time jobs in the UK. However, after a detailed assessment of all the businesses where the Applicants had invested their money, our solicitors were able to provide a solution to this issue. The Applicants were informed that their case was not straightforward and comprehensive legal representations were required explaining how their application met the requirements. The Applicants instructed us to prepare and assist with the submission of their Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application. Our solicitors were able to prepare an exceptional application and eliminated any concerns, resulting in a successful application.

Eligibility for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension Application

Applicants who were initially granted a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa would have been granted leave for 3 years and 4 months. At the time of the grant, applicants are given a number of visa conditions which they must satisfy so that they could apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension. Similar to the initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur application, applicants who wish to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension must meet the requirements listed under the Immigration Rules but must also cater for the Home Office policy guidance as the Immigration Rules only explain the basic requirements. Applicants must score 95 points to be granted a Tier 1 entrepreneur extension. Points can be accumulated as noted below:

  • 75 points for Attributes: Showing that you have invested £200,000, showing registration with HMRC as self-employed, showing registration with HMRC as a director and lastly by showing you have established or taken over a business in the UK;
  • 10 points for the English language: Showing that you have passed an English language test at an approved test provider at level B1 of CEFR or you hold a degree taught in English or you are a national of a majority speaking country; and
  • 10 points for maintenance: Showing that you have at least £945 of personal savings which have been held for 90 consecutive days prior to the submission of your application.

The above are the basic requirements, in addition to the above, Applicants should be aware of the specified documents that must be provided with the Tier 1 entrepreneur extension application.  It is important to note that the Home Office will consider the source of funds for the initial investment, therefore, there should be a paper trace leading to the money. The job creation requirement is as equally important (see below) and the financial documents should also be collated i.e. accounts, payroll and other HMRC documents (as per the Home Office specified list).

As mentioned above, one of the main requirements is that Applicants must be able to provide evidence that they have created two fulltime jobs in the UK for at least 12 months before the date of the Tier 1 entrepreneur extension application. The jobs created must be for taken by settled British nationals but directors cannot themselves within the job creation requirement. A fulltime job is one involving at least 30 hours of paid work a week. One of the main issues Applicants often face is that their business has created a number of part-time jobs and not fulltime jobs. It is possible to rely on part-time jobs to meet the jobs creation requirement but it should be noted that there is a specific formula used by the Home Office when calculating whether the requirement is met or not. The Home Office expects to see a specific list of supporting documents submitted with the Tier 1 entrepreneur extension application. We have listed some of the documents below:

  • Evidence of employee’s nationality;
  • Employment contracts;
  • Payslips and P60’s; and
  • Printouts of Real-Time Payment submissions.

Applicants should seek legal advice prior to submitting a Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application as the consequences of submitting an imperfect application for businesses is catastrophic.

 Using Legal Representation to Submit a Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application. It is possible to instruct immigration and visa legal representative to submit an extension application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your entrepreneur extension application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 Entrepreneur extension application and the merit of your extension application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your UK Visas and Immigration application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful visa application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation for you to discuss a successful application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post Double Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application success story appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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Last Friday 29 March 2019, the new visa categories for non-EEA national business people were launched, which also closed the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa routes for new Applicants. Instead, individuals now have to apply for either the Tier 1 Start Up Visa or Tier 1 Innovator Visa, depending on the experience of the Applicant. The full requirements for the new visas are contained under Appendix W of the Immigration Rules, and our immigration solicitors can explain the new rules and requirements in a consultation meeting, as well as inform you of the bespoke service we offer to our high net worth clients.  

What is the new Tier 1 Start Up Visa?

The Start Up visa category is for early-stage but high potential entrepreneurs who are looking to set up a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants do not need any funds to invest in their business at this stage. As with the new Innovator Visa, Applicants will need to secure an endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsement body. For the Tier 1 Start Up Visa, endorsements can come from either a business or a Higher Education Institution. If the endorsement body finds the business idea credible, they will provide an endorsement letter which the Applicant will need to provide as evidence for the visa application.

What are the main permitted and prohibited activities of the new Tier 1 Start Up Visa?

It is important that Applicants are aware of their visa conditions. Our business immigration team is able to fully explain what you can and cannot do on the new Start Up Visa during an initial consultation meeting at our offices in Middle Temple or over the telephone. We also briefly outline the new Start Up Visa conditions below:

Permitted activities:

  • Applicants can stay in the UK for 2 years on a Tier 1 Start Up visa – any time spent in the UK on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa counts as part of the 2 years;
  • Applicants can bring family members with them;
  • Applicants can switch to this visa from some other visa categories such as Tier 1 (graduate Entrepreneur, any Tier 2 visa, Tier 4 (General) student visa and the Standard Visitor visa if the Applicant came to the UK to get funding and had a supporting letter from an endorsing body; and
  • Applicants can work in another job, as well as working for their business.

Prohibited activities:

  • Applicants cannot access public funds;
  • Applicants cannot work as a doctor, dentist in training or professional sportsperson, i.e. as a sports coach; and
  • Applicants cannot settle in the UK on this visa or apply to extend this visa.

Applicants must meet the English language requirement and be able to prove that they have enough personal savings to support themselves while they are in the UK by showing at least £945 in their bank account for 90 consecutive days before applying.

Can I still apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa?

From 6 April 2019, no further endorsements will be issued for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa. Applicants who have been issued an endorsement by a Higher Education Institution or the Department for International Trade before this date can still use it to make a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) application. Endorsements are valid for 3 months and must be used to make an application before it expires. The closing date for applications is 5 July 2019. Applicants who have not received an endorsement before 6 April 2019 can apply to be endorsed under the new Start-up category. This includes if the Applicant has already been granted 1 year’s leave under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and are seeking an endorsement for the second year. Dependants can still apply to join Applicants who have obtained leave for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category is also closing. Switching applications for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Applicants will remain open until 5 July 2021. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extension applications will remain open for these individuals until 5 July 2025, and settlement applications until 5 July 2027. It is recommended to contact our business immigration team before making an application.

Using Legal Representation to submit a Tier 1 Start Up Visa application in accordance with Appendix W of the Immigration Rules

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a UK Visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules for Start-Up Visa applications.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds and meets the requirements, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 1 Start Up Visa Applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 Start-Up Visa application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss the new Tier 1 Start Up Visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post New UK Business Visa Category: What is the new Tier 1 Start Up Visa? appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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From today, 29 March 2019, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa route is no longer available to new applicants. Instead, the brand new Tier 1 Innovator Visa has been launched for experienced businesspeople seeking to establish a business in the UK. Appendix W of the Immigration Rules has been updated to include the provisions for the new visa as was announced in the recent Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules. Amendments have also therefore been made to Appendices A, E and V of the Immigration Rules, as well as parts 5, 6A and 8 of the Immigration Rules as a result of this new visa category. It is anticipated that other categories for workers will be added to Appendix W, as the UK’s immigration system is reformed over time.  

What is the new Tier 1 Innovator Visa?

The new Tier 1 Innovator Visa has replaced the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, for high net worth individuals who wish to establish a business presence in the UK. Unlike the previous route, Applicants must show they have at least £50,000 in investment funds in order to set up a new business. The investment funds can come from any source and Applicants who wish to invest in an already established business which has been endorsed for an earlier visa, do not need any investment funds.  The Applicant does not need to be the sole founder of the business and may be a member of an entrepreneurial team.

Before making the application, Applicants will need to have their business or business idea endorsed by a Home Office approved Innovator Endorsing Body. The endorsement body is an organisation which has been approved by the Home Office to endorse Applicants in the relevant category.

If the endorsement body believes the business is viable, then they will provide an endorsement letter confirming the venture meets the endorsement criteria of Appendix W of the Immigration Rules. If the Applicant’s last grant of leave was in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Start-up or Innovator category, the endorsement does not need to be from the same endorsing body as the endorsement which led to that grant of leave.

The endorsing body must not have withdrawn the endorsement by the time the application is considered by the Home Office decision maker.

What are the main requirements for the new Tier 1 Innovator Visa?

As mentioned above, Applicants will first need to obtain an endorsement. Applicants who are investing in a new business will need to demonstrate that their business idea is innovative, scalable and viable:

Innovation – The Applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

Viability – The Applicant has the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.

Scalability – There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

Applicants will also need to demonstrate that the investment funds are available and that they can meet the maintenance requirement and English language requirement at a minimum level of B2. The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) will also need to be paid.

What are the main permitted and prohibited activities of the new Tier 1 Innovator visa?

As with all UK Visas, there are specific activities that a migrant can and cannot do in the UK on the new business visa. The main permitted and prohibited activities of this new visa are outlined as follows:

Permitted activities:

  • Applicants can set up a business or several businesses in the UK;
  • Applicants can work for their business, which includes being employed as a director, or self-employed as a member of a business partnership;
  • Have family members join them in the UK.

Prohibited activities:

  • Applicants cannot do any work outside their business, such as being employed by another business;
  • Applicants cannot work as a doctor or dentist in training or as a professional sportsperson such as a sports coach;
  • Applicants are not entitled to receive public funds.

There are also settlement options available to Innovator applicants and their family members.

It is important that Applicants are aware of their visa conditions and restrictions. Potential Innovators should contact our business immigration team to arrange a consultation in order to fully understand the new Innovator Visa and requirements under Appendix W as well as find out more about the bespoke service we offer in relation to the preparation and submission of UK Visa applications.

Using Legal Representation to submit an Innovator Visa application in accordance with Appendix W of the Immigration Rules

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a UK Visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules for a visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds and meets the requirements, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Applications in accordance with Appendix W of the Immigration Rules

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 UK Visa application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss the new visa route.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post New Entrepreneur Visa Launched Today: What you need to know about the new Tier 1 Innovator Visa appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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Following the publication of the recent Statement of Changes HC919 on 7 March 2019 there has been ample concerns and uncertainty amongst entrepreneurs looking to set up or take over existing businesses in the United Kingdom. The Home Office has now confirmed that the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route will be closed for new Applicants on midnight on 29 March 2019 and all new applications must be submitted before 30 March 2019. However, the Home Office is set to introduce the Tier 1 Innovator visa for business persons looking to set up a business in the United. Whilst the nature of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and the Tier 1 Innovator visa is similar there are considerable differences in the requirements under the Immigration Rules. The official introduction of the new provisions in the Immigration Rules for the Tier 1 Innovator visa will be published on 29 March 2019.

It’s not too late to submit your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application

Applicants can submit their Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application up until midnight on 29 March 2019 and then book an appointment at a visa application centre. The appointment can be booked for a later date and this gives Applicants more time to gather the required documents. It should be noted that the documents for the application must be submitted at the appointment at a visa application centre. To submit a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application the following requirements must be met:

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications are considered under Paragraph 245D of the Immigration Rules. The Home Office will also take into consideration the appropriate appendixes to the Immigration Rules and Policy Guidance. Applicants are required to score 95 points for a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application. Applicants will be awarded points for the following:

  • 75 points for meeting the Attributes requirement;
  • 10 points for meeting the Maintenance requirement; and
  • 10 points for meeting the English language requirement.

To score 75 points for the attributes requirement Applicants must show that they have at least £200,000 readily available to use for their proposed business. The money must also meet a list of specific requirements and be held for at least 90 consecutive days. Applicants must also meet the Genuine Entrepreneur Test (please see below).

To score 10 points for the maintenance requirement Applicants must show that they have sufficient funds (£3310 or £945) available to accommodate and maintain themselves in the United Kingdom without recourse to public funds. The money for maintenance must also be held for 90 consecutive days.

To score 10 points for the English language requirement Applicants must have passed an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening or have an academic qualification that was taught in English. Applicants can also meet the English language requirement if they are from a majority English speaking country.

In addition to the above, Applicants must also meet the Genuine Entrepreneur Test showing that their business idea is viable and credible.

Is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application going to be replaced?

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application will be replaced with the Tier 1 Innovator visa on 29 March 2019. The notable difference between the two visas is that the investment funds of £200,000 have been reduced to £50,000. Further, unlike the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application, the innovator visa will be broken down into two stages. The First stage will be an endorsement application to an appropriate endorsement body (the bodies will be confirmed on 29 March 2019). The endorsement body will approve the business idea on behalf of the Home Office. The second stage will be the visa application to the Home Office. These changes have been welcomed by immigration law practitioners as it appears that the Home Office will not be involved in assessing a business’s viability or credibility. This task will be passed on to the appropriate specialist endorsement body which is likely to result in an increase of consistent and fairer decisions when assessing the viability or credibility of the business. In the past, the Home Office often refused applications on the basis that they believed that the Applicants business idea was not viable or credible which was very controversial as it was not clear how Home Office cases workers were making their assessment.

Using Legal Representation to Submit a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa Application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa Application

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 Entrepreneur visa application and the merit of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your UK Visas and Immigration application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful Entrepreneur visa application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation for you to discuss a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications must be submitted before 30 March 2019 appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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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 Tier 1 Innovator visa. The Home Office will publish the relevant Immigration Rules, Policy Guidance and Appendix W to the Immigration Rules on 29 March 2019. Whilst the Home Office has not officially published the key details such as the eligibility requirements for these visas our solicitors and barristers have researched into these new respective visas and can advise. The Tier 1 Start-up visa is likely to replace the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa and the Tier 1 Innovator visa is likely to replace the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.

What is the Tier 1 Innovator visa?

The Tier 1 Innovator is likely to replace the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa on 29 March 2019. The Tier 1 Innovator visa is for entrepreneurs looking to set up and establish a business in the United Kingdom. Applicants must show that their business is credible and viable and it must be endorsed by a respected and approved endorsing body (see below). It is unclear whether entrepreneurs will be able to join an existing business under the Tier 1 Innovator visa. Previously, this was permitted under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.

What are the key differences between the Tier 1 Innovator visa and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Unlike the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, Applicants who wish to apply for the Tier 1 Innovator will no longer be required to invest at least £200,000 in their business. The Home Office has introduced a significant change helping potential entrepreneurs by reducing the initial investment amount from £200,000 to £50,000 for new Applicants. It is unclear whether Applicants will be required to hold the investment funds for a period of consecutive 90 days or whether they can rely on third-party funding like the current Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. There will be an English language requirement of B2 and Appendix O of the Immigration Rules will continue to apply.

It also appears the Home Office will no longer carry out the Genuine Entrepreneur Test but this task will be delegated to the relevant endorsement body. This should make the actual visa application process easier and efficient. The main difference is the introduction of the “endorsement requirement” by a relevant business sponsor. It is unclear what constitutes as a relevant endorsement and the requirements are yet to be released.

What are the requirements for a Tier 1 Innovator visa?

As mentioned above, the Tier 1 Innovator visa is for entrepreneurs who wish to set up and establish a business presence in the United Kingdom. It is our understanding that requirements will be as noted below (to be confirmed on 29 March 2019):

  • Applicants must have a credible business idea;
  • Applicants must have at least £50,000 in cash to invest in their proposed business idea;
  • Applicants must meet the English language requirement (Level B2) in accordance with Appendix O of the Immigration Rules;
  • Applicants must meet the maintenance requirement (amount to be confirmed by the Home Office on 29 March 2019); and
  • Applicants must receive a suitable endorsement (see below).

The endorsement must be from an appropriate body which is expected to include some higher education institutions which meet the requirements. The endorsement bodies must have a proven track record of supporting entrepreneurs that are approved by the Home Office. A business plan will be required when applying for the endorsement. It is our understanding Applicants must meet the innovation, viability and scalability requirement to receive an endorsement.

Innovation – Applicants must demonstrate that their business idea is genuine and original. The business idea can a tangible product based business or a service related business.

Viability – Applicants must demonstrate that their business is practical and credible. Applicants would be required to show that they have the expertise or specialist knowledge of their chosen business field to enable the business to success. Applicants must prepare and submit a well-drafted business plan to show that the business has a clear vision and all the relevant considerations such as start-up costs, target market, market segmentation and competition have been taken into consideration. The business plan should also show the projected cash flow forecast for the first 3 years for the business. Information on other relevant factors such as strengths and weakness of the business and the impact of future growth/decline of the business sector they wish to operate in.

Scalability – Applicants must show that their business idea will benefit the economy in the United Kingdom and the business will contribute to job creation and growth into relevant markets.

Home Office fee for Tier 1 Innovator visa – Prices to be the same as the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa £1021 (entry clearance) and £1277 (switch in-country). IHS is currently £400 per year.

Will there be settlement (indefinite leave to remain) options under the Tier 1 Innovator visa?

Similar to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa there will be a settlement (indefinite leave to remain) option for Applicants. The official Immigration Rules and Home Office Policy guidance on settlement options will be published on 29 March 2019. However, from our research it is our understanding there will be a fast-tracked settlement route for Tier 1 Innovators who are able to meet the following requirements (at least two must be met):

  • Applicants must have invested at least £50,000 in their business;
  • The business must have created at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers;
  • The business must have created 5 full-time jobs for resident workers with a minimum salary of £25,000;
  • The business must have generated gross revenue of at least £1 million;
  • The business must show that there has been an increase in the number of business customers;
  • The business has contributed to valuable research and development and has applied for intellectual property protection in the United Kingdom; or
  • The business is generating a minimum of £500,000 with £100,000 from exporting overseas.

It should be noted that the above is yet to be formally confirmed and there may be some changes to the settlement requirements once the updated Immigration Rules, Home Office Policy Guidance and Appendix W of the Immigration Rules is published on 29 March 2019.

Using Legal Representation to Submit a Tier 1 Innovator visa application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a Tier 1 Innovator visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules for a Tier 1 Innovator visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Tier 1 Innovator visa application succeeds and meets the requirements, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your Tier 1 Innovator visa application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 1 Innovator visa application in accordance with the Immigration Rules and Appendix W of the Immigration Rules

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. 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 Innovator visa application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Tier 1 Innovator visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Tier 1 Innovator visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

The post Brand new business visa for entrepreneurs: What is the Tier 1 Innovator visa? appeared first on London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors.

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