The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category is for those who wish to establish a genuine business which will generate jobs in the UK. The government has stated that it has, however, become clear that the majority of those applying in-country for leave in the category are those who have come here for the purpose of study and are making speculative or fraudulent applications simply to extend their stay in the UK.
The statement of changes stipulated that: “Checks against the tax records of those who have been granted leave as entrepreneurs suggest that few have gone on to engage in genuine entrepreneurial activity, and that a significant proportion have taken employment in breach of their conditions, typically at low skill levels.
This shows that a robust response is required to protect the integrity of the immigration system and to make clear that systematic abuse will not be tolerated. The new restrictions on Tier 1 Entrepreneur Switching will apply whilst we carry out further investigations into these abuses and review the route to ensure that it delivers its proper purpose, which is to help foster growth and innovation. The changes will come into force tomorrow, to guard against the possibility of any further intake of speculative or fraudulent applications.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) remains open. Those who already have leave in the category will continue to be able to extend their stay. The new restrictions will not apply to those qualifying on the basis of seed funding or funding provided by another government department, nor, in the case of those switching from the Tier 1 (Post Study Work) route, will they apply to those who have already established a genuine business. Those who graduate here will continue to be able to apply to extend their stay under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category, which is significantly undersubscribed. Those who have a genuine intention of establishing a business here will also continue to be able to apply from overseas.”