The Home Office has released a statement on changes to the UK Immigration Rules that will be in effect from 11 January 2018 onward. The new rules will affect multiple areas of the UK’s points-based 5 tier visa system.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa was mentioned in the full statement, HC309, which can be found on the GOV.UK website. The actual requirements for the visa have not been changed, but there is new guidance in place to clarify and add detail to the program’s previous wording.
Some of the new wording is targeting the “recycling” of funds, or preventing applicants from citing funds already used by other applicants’ as their own. Family members of applicants are also now exempt from the workaround.
According to official UK Immigration statistics, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa was the UK’s most popular golden visa route in 2017. From 2008 to Q1 2017, 5,670 visas were issued to primary applicants through the program, far outshining the Tier 1 Investor Visa’s 3,428.
The disparity between the two programs is possibly due to the lower net investment required for the entrepreneur visa. The investor visa requires applicants to invest a minimum of £2 million while the entrepreneur visa only requires £200,000 of readily disposable investment funds for UK businesses.
The new guidelines will also clarify the documentary evidence requirement, as well as rules relating to job creation for domestic workers. While other visas are mentioned in the changes, it seems the guidelines for the Tier 1 Investor Visa will remain the same going forward in 2018.