The newly announced Start-up and Innovator visa routes have been designed to help entrepreneurs get their businesses off of the ground. Replacing the outgoing Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa routes, the Start-up and Innovator visa routes have been designed to unleash the enterprising spirit of those who are looking to get a business off of the ground in the UK. In this article, we are going to take a deeper look at the new routes to understand what has changed, some visa specifics and show why these new routes show that the UK is open for business.
One of the biggest changes that have come from the removal of the previous visa routes and the creation of the two new ones is the introduction of a business endorsement as part of the eligibility criteria. The Home office has been much maligned for years due to the fact that it chooses to assess business credibility in-house rather than outsourcing it to agencies that may understand the business community a little better. Thankfully now it seems that common sense has prevailed and the Home Office has decided to outsource the credibility part of the application process to outside agencies. These agencies include seed funding competitions and approved higher education institutions.
The endorsement changes are necessary to ensure that viable businesses are not being missed. They also ensure that businesses that aren't really that credible get stopped before the application stage - saving precious Home Office resources. The entrepreneurial visa routes have needed some work for a little while now; there has been harsh criticism of the number and quality of businesses that have received approval from the Home Office in recent years. It is hoped that the outsourcing of the credibility assessment will make a huge difference to the quality of businesses that are given approval and that this will help to introduce businesses that will help the UK to continue to grow after Brexit.
Another valuable change with the introduction of the two new visas is the opportunity to step up from the Start-Up Visa to the Innovator Visa. In its previous guise as the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, the Start-Up visa was only granted for one year and was quite limited in what the entrepreneur could do. The new Start-Up visa offers an additional year and the option to upgrade to an Innovator visa once certain business goals have been achieved. This upgrade will allow the entrepreneur to eventually gain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, depending on the long-term goals and results of the business.
The setup of the newly introduced visas offer entrepreneurs a clear path to success with their enterprise in the UK. The model will allow entrepreneurs to build a career roadmap that allows them to create a long-term sustainable business that adds to the UK economy. It is the explosion of these innovative enterprises that will help the UK to continue to grow after it leaves the European Union. The UK is an economic powerhouse that needs to foster innovation in order to maintain a competitive edge. With the newly design visa routes, it seems the government has listened to the business community and taken on board the changes that were desperately required to ensure that entrepreneurial types are still attracted to come to the UK - even after Brexit. Innovation is likely to be extremely important moving forward for the UK as it faces incredible economic challenges. The Start-Up and Innovator visa routes are an ideal solution to ensure that entrepreneurs see the UK as the ideal place to start their innovative enterprise.
If there is one thing that these new changes make clear: it's that the UK is open for business. As we previously alluded to, the UK faces significant economic challenges after Brexit. A more than four-decade membership of the trading bloc is shortly coming to an end. This means the UK is going to need to work extremely hard in order to build and maintain a competitive edge once it loses its largest trading partner. It's clearly not all gloom and doom - the changing nature of Britain's relationship with Europe will ensure that it improves relations with other countries. America and other global powers are sure to be natural trading partners for the UK and will help to offset the issues that are likely to come from the end of Britain’s membership of the European Union.
The changing nature of Britain’s place in the world will also put the UK in something of an unfortunate position. Already the US has warned the UK about its future trading relationship with China. As the two global superpowers (The USA and China) trade blows, the UK is in the middle of a game of tug of war. The UK will likely need both countries moving forward - and arguably it needs China more than the US. As the world’s biggest manufacturing hub, China has huge trade deficits with countries all over the world. Its economic prosperity is built on its ability to manufacture and innovate quickly and cheaply. This is something the US does not have. Currently, the UK sources much of its import needs from Europe, but with the abolition of free trade and tariff-free movement of goods, the UK will need to source from all over the globe - and particularly China.
The global turmoil may actually help to make a huge difference to innovation in the UK. By creating more domestically, the UK can reduce its reliance on a global supply chain that is increasingly fraught with instability. With the visa routes announced, the UK may help to kickstart an industrial and manufacturing revolution in the UK that could change the face of the country forever.
If you need further advice on the new start-up visa or indeed any other immigration subject then please get in touch. We have a wealth of knowledge that can be used to help those with an entrepreneurial spirit to make the most with the opportunities that are available to them due to the political and economic upheaval currently happening in the UK.
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