Category Archives: Tier 1 Entrepreneur Route

UK Eases Visa Rules – 1st October 2013

Last Friday, Mark Harper, the immigration minister, announced changes which generally ease visa rules from 1st October 2013. Some of the key changes are:

  • Removal of the English language requirement for intra-company transferees.
  • Tourists and business visitors are allowed to do some study where it is not the main purpose of their visit.
  • Share ownership restrictions waived for senior staff earning £152,100 or more.
  • Artists of exceptional promise enabled to apply under Tier 1.
  • Graduate entrepreneurs will find it easier to switch into Tier 2.
  • New youth mobility scheme quotas set for 2014
  • Hong Kong will be added to the list of participating countries and territories on the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme in order to further strenghten business, trade and cultural ties.
  • Some students will be allowed to work as interns under the Tier 5 government authorised exchange scheme.
  • The removal of the prospective student route.
  • The expansion of checks to ensure applicants for work and student visas are genuine, and that they intend to meet the conditions of leave they apply for.
  • The introducion of  powers to refuse Tier 4 extension applications where the applicant cannot speak English.
  • Dependants in the Points Based System and other work routes will be allowed to apply from within the UK, providing they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or temporary release. They will still need to satisfy all other existing requirements.
  • Special rules for overseas visitors to the Commonwealth Games 2014 were included.
  • With effect from the 28th October 2013 there will be changes to how applicants for indefinite leave to remain are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK.

If you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering, Actuary or Finance Commonwealth Contractors may well be able to help.

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Send us some details now and we will get right back to you!


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Wealthy Global Investors Favour Silicon Roundabout

According to a report in the FT entrepreneurs from around the world are attracted to the UK’s fastest growing business sectors including the rapidly expanding IT start-up sector centered around the Silicon Roundabout.

Where is it?

Old Street roundabout in London is referred to as Silicon Roundabout owing to the number of web start-up companies in the area. It sits on the northern fringe of the centuries-old financial hub, the City of London. In September 2011 Google acquired a  building  in the area which has since been transformed into a Google Campus comprised of  seven floors of co-working space, a café and events space for start-up companies and entrepreneurs.

According to  International Law Firm Pinsent Masons the number of wealthy foreign investors issued with specialist ‘investor visas’ allowing these people to stay in the UK has rocketed in the past year. The figure has risen to 462 at the end of a 12 month period ending in June 2012 compared with 199 in the same period a year earlier.

Simon Horsfield, the head of Pinsent Masons’ business immigration team says: “The UK, and London in particular, remains hugely attractive to wealthy individuals from around the globe. Foreign nationals still see London as an expat friendly gateway to Europe. London offers both political stability and a very transparent legal system. Investors see prime property in the capital as a very attractive and liquid asset. Prime property prices in London have remained stable or even increased despite the global downturn, which is a real lure for High Net Worths.”

These start-ups will also need talented engineers and other creative people. David Cameron on his visit to India last week announced that there is no cap on foreign students allowed in Britain provided they have basic English and an offer to study at a UK university. It is not just from India that we need them. These entrepreneurs and students will boost our economy through their expertise, innovative ideas and job creation. Making them welcome is the way forward for us.

If you are an expat studying for a PhD or an MBA, we, and our partners can help you

* Obtain a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.


* Find an employer able to employ you on a Tier 2 (general) work visa.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

If you are a Tier 1 Entrepreneur we await your call.


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Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant “Genuine Entrepreneur” Test

Why is the Genuine Entrepreneur Test Required?

On the 30th January the Immigration Minister Mr Harper laid before Parliament a written ministerial statement setting out the changes to the Tier 1 (Entrpreneur) Migrant route with effect from the 31st January 2013. Following the tightening of other migration routes the Entrepreneur route is apparently targeted by applicants who are recycling funds amongst different applicants and creating artificial businesses. Mr Harper stated that he was introducing a “genuine entrepreneur” test which will give UK Border Agency caseworkers the ability to test the credibility of suspicious applicants.

One of the main changes is that the UKBA make ask for verification that funds claimed to be available in the application are still available at a later date. The funds can be in the applicant’s own possession or in the financial accounts of an incorporated business of which the applicant is a director or available from the third party or parties named in the application. The viability and credibility of the applicant’s business plans and market research into their chosen business sector will be assessed. Their previous educational and business experience, immigration history and previous activity in the UK will also come under scrutiny. The introduction of these tests will inevitably lead to delays for applicants.

The Immigration Minister Mark Harper is confident that students will still want to come here to study. Figures released by UCAS showed an increase in applications to study at UK universities by non-EEA students. The most significant figures were a 9.9% increase in application from China and a 19.3% from India. He said “This shows that despite rhetoric to the contrary, students continue to want to come to the UK to study in our world class universities.” However, these students had applied before Mr Harper changed the rules.

In the Spectator on January 25th it was reported by Alex Massey that Canada  has just announced a program that will grant immediate permanent residency to qualifying entrepreneurs from 1st April 2013. The Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney plans to recruit the super bright foreign nationals from Asia who are working in technology in the US but may have to leave before they can get the US Green Card.

Barack Obama possibly had this on his mind when, in his Immigration Speech on the 29th January 2013 in Los Vegas as reported in the Washington Post, he said
“Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country’s future. Think about it. We define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. That’s who we are, in our bones. The promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been one of our greatest strengths. It keeps our workforce young. It keeps our country on the cutting edge. And it helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.”

Later he added “We’re giving them all the skills they need to figure that out. But then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in China or India or Mexico or someplace else. That’s not how you grow new industries in America. That’s how you give new industries to our competitors. That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. Now…”

Will the UK match Canada in offering permanent residency to high flyers? We will have to wait and see. In the meantime our partners at Commonwealth Contractors have experience in helping entrepreneurs, both with visa applications and in some cases with funding.

Contact us:

  • for tier 1 entrepreneur visa help
  • if you would like to meet similar individuals to make up an entrepreneurial team
  • for help with funding if you have a proven ability for your business to generate revenues of > £200k pa.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.


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