UK Entrepreneur Visa – Satisfying the ‘Genuine Entrepreneur Test’

September 14, 2020

Unfortunately the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route is now closed to new applicants, but please get in contact with us to discuss alternatives.

Despite the UK deciding to leave EU, there is still a huge demand for entrepreneurs from outside of the EU wishing to set up, join or invest in the UK under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route.

For a prospective entrepreneur to be eligible for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, he or she would be required to have investment funds of £200,000.

The investment funds would need to be held in one or more financial institutions e.g. regulated banks and also be available to spend in the UK as part of the investment.

However, one of the main reasons for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa refusals is due to the entrepreneur failing to satisfy the ‘genuine entrepreneur test’. This is the term used by UK Visas & Immigration (‘UKVI’) to crackdown on applicants who they believe not to be genuine entrepreneurs.

In assessing your credibility as a genuine entrepreneur, the UK Visas & Immigration (‘UKVI’) will take the following key points into consideration:

  1. The viability and credibility of the source of your funds;
  2. The viability and credibility of your business plan and market research into your chosen business sector;
  3. Your academic and business background; and
  4. Your immigration history and previous activity.

However, a common ground of refusal in satisfying the ‘genuine entrepreneur test’ tends to result from the prospective entrepreneur failing to either provide a detailed business plan or failing to provide adequate answers during the entry clearance interview.

Therefore, it is crucial for the entrepreneur to produce a detailed business plan covering all the main strategies of the business model e.g. company mission statement, competitors, marketing, revenue, sales, financial forecast etc.

A detailed and well-presented business plan will not only make the business seem professional, but it will also lay down the foundations of the interview questions being easier to answer.

The questions in the interview will be primarily based on your previous business experiences and your business plan.

Examples of interview questions are:

Why have you chosen the UK for your business?

Did you conduct your own market research?

Who wrote your business plan?

Why this particular business?

How many staff will you employ?

What is your marketing strategy?

What is your financial forecast e.g. over the next 3 years?

Who are your competitors?

If the questions are answered in detail and without any discrepancies, the chances of satisfying the ‘genuine entrepreneur test’ will be far greater.

If you are an entrepreneur who wishes to invest or set up a company in the UK and require further advice in relation to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route or how to satisfy the ‘genuine entrepreneur test’, please feel free to contact us on 0161 826 6922.

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With years of experience working in UK immigration and British nationality law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps to obtain your visa. Get in touch today.