March 14, 2019 405
The Home Office has announced that the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa are going to be abolished on 28 March 2019. So if you want to apply for either of these visas you had better hurry.
But two new visas will come into existence on 29 March, which will replace them: the “Start-Up visa” and the “Innovator visa”. The Start-Up visa has some similarities with the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa and the Innovator visa has some similarities with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.
The Start-Up visa will be open to applicants generally who want to set up a business in the UK, not only to graduates. They will not require any initial investment funds and the visa will be granted for two years, with no possibility of extension. It will not lead to settlement.
The Innovator visa, on the other hand, does require investment funds (in most cases), but only of £50,000. The visa will be granted for three years, with the possibility of extension, and it will potentially lead to settlement after three years if specified requirements are met.
Start-Up migrants will be able to switch in-country to Innovator migrants.
Both new visas will have an English language requirement. If the applicant satisfies this with an English language test it must be at at least B2 level.
And both new visas will require endorsement from a Home Office approved body (but so far the list of approved bodies has not been produced.) The endorsement process will be quite rigorous. The endorsing body must provide an initial endorsement that the applicant’s proposed business is “innovative” and viable. But after that the applicant must keep in regular touch with the endorsing body so that the endorsing body can assess the progress of the business.
There will be transitional arrangements for those who already hold Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas.
So there are some important differences between the new visas and the old visas they will replace, but some similarities as well. And also the new visas are less complicated and difficult in some ways but more difficult in others.
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