We have seen concerted efforts by the government to ensure that entrepreneurs actually move businesses and investments to the country. But an ever increasing gulf exists between the Government's openness rhetoric and the immigration process in the light of the reality experienced by overseas entrepreneurs trying to enter the UK.
'Britain is open - for business', a term used to refer to the government's renewed efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to the country has been a major theme for recent British governments. In the wake of Brexit, the campaign grew even stronger, with London's Mayor Sadiq Khan Launching his version of the campaign 'London is Open' referring to the same intents.
But an ever increasing gulf exists between the Government's openness rhetoric and the immigration process in the light of the reality experienced by foreign entrepreneurs trying to enter the UK. We've seen a drop in entrepreneur applications, accompanied by a refusal rate of more than half. In the year ending March 2015 the UK granted only 842 main applicant entry clearance visas for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants, while refusing 949, according to ONS data.
Popular business and investment immigration routes include: -
This immigration route allows Non-European investors to invest at least £2,000,000 in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in a business registered and trading in the UK.
This route allows non-EEA entrepreneurs having access to £50,000 or £200,000 to come into the UK for the purpose of establishing or taking over an existing business.
In the light of recent developments, the importance of getting your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application right cannot overemphasised. The government itself alluded to the tightening of business immigration rules on its websites. "There was a 5,141 fall in work-related refusals, with Tier 1 entrepreneur refusals falling 4,207 reflecting tightening eligibility". The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa was not the only category to take a hit from tightening immigration rules, the Tier 1 Investor also suffered a bigger hit with tightened immigration rules. At year end, the UK had granted a total of just 192 Tier 1 (Investor) visas throughout 2015, down from 1,172 in the previous 12 months.
A story recently published by the Evening standard narrated the ordeal of a Russian entrepreneur, Alexander Shaf, who was refused his Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application because of an administrative error which could now cause his flourishing business to collapse.
He had travelled to his country to look after his dying father where he missed a signature on his application. He is now in the process of a Judicial Review which in some cases could take up to 3 years.
"This is sending a big warning message to entrepreneurial communities across the globe - think twice before you decide to go to the UK. All your efforts, if not your life, can be ruined by negligent and formalistic work of the UK immigration authorities", Alexander warned.
Even though Alexander Shaf's outcry runs contrary to what the government is trying to achieve by 'Open Britain', the reality of the situation is that extra care must be taken when making business immigration applications.
Read the full story on the Standard.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application especially extension is not one of those applications you gamble with attempting yourself. We actually recommend having an immigration lawyer on standby to advice on the impact of your actions on your immigration status during your initial 3 years.
The tightening of immigration rules was to ensure that only genuine entrepreneurs come into the country. The definitions of who a genuine entrepreneur though subjective is accessed within the boundaries of common sense and can be effectively navigated by a business immigration lawyer who is very experienced in this maze.
The team at Reiss Edwards consists of some of London's leading business immigration lawyers. Should you require expert legal advice in making a business immigration application please call us on 020 3744 2797.
438 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
Indefinite Leave to remain - UK Settlement and Naturalisation
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Citizenship Application - UK Naturalisation
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
Spouse Visa - Appeals and visa refusals
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
Immigration Visa - Citizen of United Kingdom
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
UK Settlement Visa
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife’s UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
Cheap Immigration Lawyers in London
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Top Notch Immigration Service
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
Best Immigration Solicitors
I used Reiss Edwards’ immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
Indefinte Leave to remain - Individual Immigration - UK Settlement visa
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
Tier 2 Visa application - UK Work Visas
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.