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Complete Guide to the Genuine Entrepreneur Test – Part 1

The idea of a genuine entrepreneur test started gathering momentum in 2012, when the UKBA was flooded with so many Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications. Even though refusal rates increased, more applicants were granted leaves when they challenged the Home Office’ refusal decision.

The reasons for this was simply because they just needed to show that the applicant had access to £200,000, met the maintenance funds requirement as well as the English language requirement. In cases where it was almost clear that this person (applicant) was not in a position to run a successful business, the rules at that time didn’t lay emphasis on that.

By January 31st 2013, the Home Office introduced the Genuine Entrepreneur test. The rule was introduced to ensure that only those who are indeed genuine entrepreneurs were granted visas under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route.

According to the official statement by the UKBA, the Genuine Entrepreneur test was introduced to protect the Tier 1 Entrepreneur immigration category from abuse.

The test is both a subjective and objective assessment of your application to determine the genuineness of the application.

Elements of the test include:

  1. A business plan
  2. Applicant’s CV
  3. Applicant’s background in relation to the business
  4. Nature and source of funds
  5. Interview (Please note that not all applicants are interviewed)

Business plan

The business plan is a key aspect of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application. Getting this wrong has negative ramifications on your application. It is important to understand that a business plan for a Tier 1 entrepreneur application is quite different from a conventional business plan. The general structure remains the same, but the approach is different.

The differentiating factors are the elements the Home Office is actually looking out for. Some of which include: -

  • Details of the business idea,
  • Evidence of a good market research, and
  • The applicant’s involvement in the business

Details of the business idea

The Home Office is not an investor or a friend, who may steal your business idea if you make your business plan very detailed. Ironically, the more detailed your business plan is, the more likely you are to getting an approval; and the more likely you may not be called upon for an interview. Even when or if you are called for an interview, the answers to questions about your business should already be in your business plan.

The Home Office wants to know about your business idea. Is it a kebab shop to be located in East London shop or something that will really add value to the UK economy? Not that a kebab shop is a bad idea, but you may struggle to pull an application through with a kebab shop. Adding a little branding, special cuisines, exquisite packaging, may do well to make a normal kebab shop more attractive to the Home Office.

If you already have a business plan and are looking for an immigration lawyer to have a look at it to make sure it is compliant with what the Home Office wants, please contact us today.

We have also seen situations where people literally lift an old business plan or a template online to lodge an application. The Home Office are not daft to recognise that they have dealt with a particular business plan before with the exact same letters and figures.

Contact us if you need help with your Tier 1 Entrepreneur application.

Our next article will touch on evidence of a good market research as well as the applicant’s involvement in the business as part of the business plan. We will mention what the Home Office sets out to see with regards to market research and the applicant’s involvement.

Lastly, we will looking at the applicant’s CV, background in relation to the business, nature and source of funds and the main interview.

At Reiss Edwards, out team of Tier 1 Entrepreneur lawyers have a strong background in business as well as individual immigration. We can advise you on all aspect of your application from entry clearance up until your Indefinite leave to remain application as a Tier 1 migrant. Contact us today for a free consultation on 02037442797 or drop us an email on


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Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard

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