On the 7th December 2017, the government announced changes to the immigration rules that have taken effect this week. The Statement of Changes details several changes being made predominantly concerning the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. Below is a summary of the changes that you need to know about.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur
Whilst the requirements for Tier 1 Entrepreneur have not in themselves changed, the Home Office have made changes to the 'Attributes' requirements for this category in Appendix A as part of an attempt to make the wording 'clearer and easier to follow'.
In relation to the job creation requirement, two key changes have been made:
- Applicants will now be asked to confirm the paid hours of the employees in jobs they created as well as the hourly rate
- A further change is being made so that applicants can apply even if their current leave was granted less than 12 months ago; in such cases the jobs must have existed for at least 12 months before the date of the current application;
Other amendments are as follows:
- An amendment is being made to the requirement regarding Real Time Full Payment Submissions, as these documents do not state the employment start date.
- New wording has been issued in a bid to prevent ‘recycling’ of funds, for example. Applicants cannot base their application on funds already ‘used’ by another applicant, or family members
- Moreover, the required evidence in this category relates to the period before the applicant joined the business, rather than the period before jobs were created. This provides a clearer demonstration of the applicant’s impact on the business;
- Also, applicants relying on investment from a venture capital firm will now be required to provide a letter from the firm confirming the date(s) the funds were transferred to the applicant or invested in their business and that the firm is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority at the time.
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
There is also good news in the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category, backing the changes made in the Autumn Budget 2017. The number of visas allocated annually is being doubled to 2,000.
Exceptional talent visa holders (but not exceptional promise visa holders) will also be permitted to qualify for ILR after three years,
For more information on further changes to the immigration rules, or if you have a question about how the changes affect you or your organisation, please contact us.