The UK Government has proposed fundamental changes to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur & Investor visa through a Statement of Changes released on 7 March 2019. The proposed changes are scheduled to take effect on March 29, 2019.
The government proposals are scheduled to take effect on March 29, 2019, but still require parliamentary approval.
New Innovator Visa Category to Replace Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route to be closed. The Innovator visa would replace the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route which would be closed to new applicants from March 29, 2019.
- English language levels will be set at B2 (higher than B1 for the current Entrepreneur)
- New expert endorsement requirement. Applicants would need to be endorsed by a designated endorsing body approved by the UK government, who would assess whether the applicant’s proposed business is innovative, viable and scalable. The Home Office has not confirmed which bodies would be authorised to issue endorsements yet, but has set out criteria with which the endorsing bodies must comply.
- Eligibility for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement). Innovators who satisfy at least two of the Home Office’s new criteria may qualify for settlement after 3 years, down from five under the existing route. The criteria include:
- Investing at least GBP 50,000 into a business;
- Doubling the business’s customers;
- Applying for intellectual property protection after research and development activity;
- Generating annual gross revenue of GBP 1 million;
- Creating 10 full-time jobs for resident workers.