You need to show you have previous experience of starting and successfully running a business, whether that is overseas or in the U.K. You need to provide a business plan that is innovative, viable and scalable.
How can foreign investors get endorsements from universities or business sponsors and accelerators for the new start-up visa of the U.K.?
I have successfully set up several start-ups in my home country. I heard that the U.K. is introducing a new start-up visa after Brexit. However, I also understand that investors need to get endorsements from local universities, business sponsors or accelerators. I have never studied in the U.K., nor do I have any previous business connections with local companies. I am wondering what the best way for an investor like me to start this process.
When you state investors, the U.K. has two immigration categories: tier 1 visa for entrepreneurs, which I think you are referring to, and tier 1 visa for investors, where you need a minimum of 2 million pounds. If you are referring to entrepreneurs, we have graduate entrepreneurs who have studied in the U.K. This visa route will close on July 6, 2019, and be replaced by “start-ups.” Tier 1 graduate entrepreneurs would then switch in to tier 1 entrepreneur. You stated you have experience in business, therefore, you could apply under innovator, which replaces tier 1 entrepreneur on March 29, 2019. This new visa scheme is great for genuine entrepreneurs because now you only need a 50,000 investment instead of 200,000, but you must now provide English to CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening, whereas on the previous scheme you only needed to CEFR level B1. The biggest change is you must be approved by an endorsing body. You must first present your business idea to the endorsing body. If they approve your business idea, they issue a code to the endorsing letter. This means the Home Office caseworkers who know very little about running a business are no longer responsible for verifying your business plan. If your question was referring to tier 1 investor visa, this was reported to be suspended but the government did a U-turn. Both tier 1 visa routes will change on March 29, 2019. Under the new immigration rules, investors will most likely be required to provide comprehensive audits of their financial and business interests as part of their entry visa application. Independent, regulated auditors will assess the financial and business interests and check whether the investor had/has control of their funds for the qualifying period, which could be two years, but this rule can be challenged depending on your unique circumstances. Regarding starting a U.K. business, if you do not understand U.K. compliance, U.K. regulations or how to prepare a professional business plan around your business idea, a firm can help you in the step-by-step process to achieving U.K. entry and a roadmap to obtaining U.K. settlement/British passport. Historically, the only time entrepreneurs running a U.K. business had their U.K. business challenged was when they applied for a new visa. Under the new innovator rules, you would be expected to make regular contact with the endorsing body that endorsed you. This ensures the Home Office that you are indeed running your business as you originally claimed.