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Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa: Job taker or job maker?

Whilst the difference between an ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘Tier 1 migrant entrepreneur’ is quite significant, it is often not considered.

On the first glance, toils of both seem to be similar. Whilst both require overstepping the same first hurdle (to produce a feasible business idea), the second (to obtain finance) and the third ( to make the business profitable) hurdles will distance the two in their race to success.

In relation to securing finance, whilst there are many government and non-government schemes that support entrepreneurs, these are largely accessible only to home grown entrepreneurs. Tier 1 migrants must, without fail, rely on their own funds, with the minimum investment fund being £200,000 with many restrictions that apply to the source of the money.

Where having secured their finances and enjoying the advantage of the ever-present network and support that is available to British entrepreneurs, they are free to take charge of the development of their business at their own pace. The migrant entrepreneur’s progress is controlled by the government and the constraints of immigration rules. Whereas they are required to create jobs for domestic (UK or European) workers, there is no such requirement imposed on British businesses.

The Home Office does take great care during the decision-making to ensure that only genuine entrepreneurs are granted leave to enter or remain in the UK. The scrutiny of the business plan, which must be submitted with the application, and questioning during the interview, which is also a part of the application process, are meticulous.

There are however no complaints from the migrant entrepreneurs. They enjoy the opportunity that was given to them by the Home Office when they approved their leave to enter or remain in the Tier 1 category and we at RadcliffesLeBrasseur are witnessing many stories of success.


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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