The UK immigration minister, Mark Harper, has announced that there is to be a new system of checks made on those applying for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas.
Mr Harper delivered a
written statement to the House of Commons on 30th January 2013 in which he
announces that there are to be 'changes in the immigration rules that will bring
about urgent changes to tackle abuse in the Entrepreneur migration route while
protecting genuine entrepreneurs'. The statement says that the new rules will be
introduced on Thursday 31st January 2013.
The statement says 'There
is strong evidence to suggest that funds to prove eligibility are being
re-cycled amongst different applicants and that artificial businesses are being
created.' Therefore, the statement continued, 'We need to tighten the current
rules to allow for a meaningful assessment of the credibility of an applicant
for this route'.
Mr Harper says, in his statement, 'I am introducing
a 'genuine entrepreneur' test which will give UK Border Agency caseworkers the
ability to test the credibility of suspicious applicants'.
also be a requirement from Thursday 31st January 2013 onwards that the necessary
minimum funds should be invested 'on an ongoing basis rather than solely at the
time of the application'. The statement makes it clear that this will apply to
those already in the UK as well as to those who apply to come here under the
entrepreneur route from now on.
Mr Harper said that the UK would continue to welcome
genuine entrepreneurs but would, at the same time, continue to crack down on
those abusing the system.
The new rules require UKBA staff to check
the following before granting a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa:
viability and credibility of the source of the money' which the applicant has
claimed to have.
• The viability and credibility of the applicant's business
• The applicant's previous business experience and education
applicant's immigration history and
• Any other relevant
The UKBA is authorised to ask for further information
where it thinks this is necessary and the points for funds will not be awarded
unless the UKBA is satisfied that the funds are genuine.
will also make further checks once the applicant is in the UK to check that
• the funds continue to be available to the investment company,
the applicant is genuinely a director of the business concerned and
the business and the funds are still available to the company invested
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