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Why a previous visit to the UK is beneficial for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Application

When you're about to make an application for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you may be wondering if there are any circumstances that may help to support your application. For instance, if you visited the UK in the past, is this something that you should mention? And if so, how do you put it into context as a way to support your application? In this article we're going to look at the idea of using a previous visit to the UK as a supporting reason for your application as an entrepreneur. We will also look at the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in a little more detail and how you can use a previous UK visit to support your application.

What is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

The first item of business that we should look at in this article I guess then is the visa itself. The visa was designed in order to encourage entrepreneurs to come to the UK in order to start a business. With a reasonable level of seed funding (£200,000), an entrepreneur can move to the UK to start their business for an initial period of 3 years and 4 months. The seed funding is not the only required criteria, but is arguably one of the most important. There is also a Genuine Entrepreneur Test that needs to be satisfied in order for an application to progress. This test is to ensure that applicants are genuine and we’ll cover it in a little more detail in the next section.

The visa is one of the UK’s most popular visa routes and considering the level of freedom it allows, it’s little wonder. For many of the other UK visa routes, holders need to meet a significant number of conditions and their stay in the UK can be terminated relatively easily. With the Tier 1 routes (Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and Tier 1 Investor Visa), it is significantly more difficult. The main reason for this is that these routes offer the option of large scale benefits for the UK and therefore they give a bit more freedom to the visa holders. Depending on your situation, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa may be the best for you. Certainly if you are looking to start a business in the UK and have seed funding, it is by far the best option.

The “Genuine Entrepreneur Test” and a Previous UK Visit

In the last section we touched on the Genuine Entrepreneur Test. The test is a major part of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application and is used by UKVI to establish whether someone is indeed a genuine applicant. The process consists of them analysing a business plan that is submitted by the applicant and then an interview with the applicant themselves. This interview will be an occasion for an official to talk to you about any concerns that they may have and is the reason that a solid and well researched business plan is such a necessity. An application could rest solely on the business plan and if it has not been produced well, even a strong business idea may well be rejected. It is for this reason that we suggest that you get a professional plan built. It will cost to have this done, but considering the implications of a failed application, we believe that the costs are justified.

As for a previous visit to the UK, you could potentially use this as a way to show that you have researched your market. The officials who are looking at your application will be looking to see if you have done your homework and a previous visit to the UK at the very least would show intent. If you do come and meet suppliers and other contacts, it is important that you document this. Potentially this information could be corroborated and that could show that you were legitimately here trying to research your market. This would be a strong indication of a genuine attempt to launch your business and is well worth mentioning in your plan. Please ensure though that if you were here on business, your visa at the time covered that. It could be seen badly if you were supposedly here for an alternative purpose. Don’t forget, part of your application will rely on you not breaking immigration rules in the past, ensure that if you do come to the UK, you do it legitimately. If not, you may pay for it further down the road.

Getting a business plan

Many would-be entrepreneurs will be looking for a business plan when it comes to making their application. If this includes you then please be mindful about who you use to create the plan. Many entrepreneurs choose to use template plans from the internet and we implore you not to do this. UKVI officials are well aware that these systems exist and they will not take kindly to their use. Use a proper business plan company to help curate your business plan. This way you get a highly individual and well crafted plan that fits your business exactly and will impress any UKVI official. If you need help sourcing a reputable business plan writing company, please get in touch. We have a range of contacts from around the industry and can help put you in touch with just the right people to help you. Don’t let your application be turned down due to a poor plan, get it done right.

Where can I get more help?

If you need more help with your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application then please get in touch. Our experienced immigration solicitors can help with getting business plans created and even help with the application process. We have helped numerous entrepreneurs to get started in the UK and can certainly help you. So for more information or to get started using our services, get in touch today - you’ll be glad you did.

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Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard

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