19.06.2018 Home Office announces plans for a new start up visa for entrepreneurs

19.06.2018 Home Office announces plans for a new start up visa for entrepreneurs

The Home Secretary, Savid Javid, in a recent statement made during London Tech Week, revealed plans to introduce a new type of business startup visa for entrepreneurs who wish to found their own business in the UK, which it said would begin welcoming people to the UK without a university education and improve the application process.

The Home Secretary hopes that this “will widen the applicant pool of talented entrepreneurs and make the visa process faster and smoother for entrepreneurs coming to the UK.”

The Home Office has said that the new visa’s introduction is planned for Spring 2019 and it is said to replace the current the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa route, which is open exclusively for graduates. This could mean that foreign entrepreneurs could find it easier to come to the UK to set up businesses, although the Home Office was unable to say how many more people would arrive due to this new policy.

Thus, applicants will be required to have an endorsement from a university or approved business sponsor, including accelerators, but will not be required to possess a degree. In order to apply for an endorsement, applicants will no longer be required to be recent graduates who have left university within the last two years. Additionally, the group of entities which can endorse an applicant with a business proposal will be expanded from approved Higher Education Institutions and the government’s own entrepreneur program to “approved business sponsors, including accelerators”. Should the new route go ahead, this would mark a further move by the Home Office towards the greater use of third-party endorsements in the immigration system, which is currently the model being used for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas.

While the Home Office was unable to give an estimate of how many additional people it expected would arrive in the UK under the new proposals, it said that the pool of eligible people would be widened “significantly” and they confirmed that the cap (2,000 visas per year) would remain in place, although any additional applications granted under the new system would not count towards the total.

The Home Secretary said:
‘The UK can be proud that we are a leading nation when it comes to tech and innovation, but we want to do more to attract businesses to the UK and our migration system plays a key part in that. That’s why I am pleased to announce a new visa for people wanting to start a business in the UK. This will help to ensure we continue to attract the best global talent and maintain the UK’s position as a world-leading destination for innovation and entrepreneurs.’

Svetlova LLP has extensive experience with Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) application. Should you wish to discuss the options available to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.