Update: You can no longer apply for the Entrepreneur Visa in the UK. Individuals looking to come to the UK to set up a new business from overseas may consider the Innovator Visa or Startup Visa. Click the links to find information on how these visa options may benefit you.
How the Government’s Immigration policy creates opportunity for UK business.
Recently, the UK government’s own press releases spoke about ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for foreign entrepreneurs, with visa requirements for international business persons being relaxed.
All well and good for foreign businesspersons, but what opportunities does this create for established UK businesses?
The opportunities are as varied as the market itself.
The Entrepreneur Visa allows migrants to settle and set up businesses in the UK. They are required to invest 200,000 GBP into their new business. More interestingly though, it also allows migrants to invest that 200,000 in existing UK businesses, and leverage that investment to relocate in the United Kingdom.
This presents an opportunity for UK businesses to fund growth through foreign investment. We have UK based clients who are growing their retail business one store at a time through the entrepreneur visa.
Various government departments are now promoting the scheme and an increase in migrants setting up businesses in the UK is expected. Those who provide business support services will find rich pickings in this space.
How does the visa work?
Applicants will simply need to show that they have a good level of English, enough money put aside for their personal maintenance and that they have seed capital of 200,000 either held in their own name or in the name of a third party.
They do not need a business plan or a prior record of business. The seed capital requirements drop to 50,000, where the migrant has prior investment from certain UK venture capital firms or UK government funding.
The applicant then receives a 3 year visa for himself and his family. Once he arrives in the UK, he can then investigate what sort of business he would like to set up, (clear opportunities for franchisors exists here). So long as the business spends 200,000 and employs 2 persons, then after a 5 year period the migrant and his family obtain permanent residency in the UK.
Westkin are a leading UK immigration law firm. Comments and thoughts are gratefully received by Amir Zaidi
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