Our top 10 tips for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application
1. Consider if you want to apply for Accelerated Settlement at any early stage
It is possible to apply for accelerated settlement in the UK after 3 years if you have either created the equivalent of 10 full time jobs that have each existed for 12 months or if you have increased the business income by £5 million. If you want to apply on this route, then make your plans early and make sure that your business plan supports it.
2. Keep documents
As with your initial application, there are a large number of documents required as part of the extension application. Making the application at year 3 will be much easier if you have kept the documents that demonstrate what your business has been doing over the previous three years and what your involvement has been.
3. Spend your investment funds
It is important that you not only put your investment funds in your business, but also that your business spends these funds over the course of the first three years. Be careful, as there is some spending that will not count towards your investment. For more information see here.
4. Do your sums
The Rules require that you create at least two full time jobs that last for at least 12 months each. There is a difference in how this is calculated depending on the date that your first entered the category. The calculation in the Rules is also different to the information that is requested on the application form. This could be a difficult calculation if you have had part time staff or multiple changes of staff throughout your time in the category. It is therefore important that at any early stage of your preparation you work out the equivalent number of jobs that you have actually created.
5. Show you are genuine
As the genuine entrepreneur test will now apply at the extension stage, it is advisable to include more evidence than what is simply specified in the Rules. Our previous advice about passing the genuine entrepreneur test still applies. However, you will need to think more practically about what evidence you have of your business and your role in it; the right documents will depend on your circumstances. The Home Office does have the power to call you for interview again as part of your extension application, irrespective of whether or not you were interviewed as part of your initial application.
6. Don’t forget your maintenance funds
At the extension application stage (but not at the settlement stage) you will need to demonstrate that you and your dependants have held the required level of maintenance funds for the required period of time. At the moment this is 90 days. This means that you need to ensure that these funds are in place – and stay there – at least three months before you plan to make your application.
7. It’s never too early to start preparing
The Immigration Rules impose a number of deadlines on Entrepreneurs, for example, you must have registered as a company director or self-employed within the 6 months after you enter the UK in this category and your jobs must exist for the equivalent of 12 months each when you make your application. It is important that you make sure that you have the relevant things in place at the start of your time in the category otherwise you could find that by the time it gets to submitting your extension application, you have missed something and it is too late to do anything about it.
8. Keep up to date with changes to the category
The rules for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants are some of the most technical. They also change frequently. Most of the time, substantial changes to an immigration category will be accompanied by transitional provisions for people who have already entered the category. However, some changes will make no allowance for those who entered the category previously. Therefore, you need to know when a change comes in to the rules and how it will affect you. You can see articles about changes to the category on our blog, and on the home office website. We can also offer ongoing advice about how changes will affect you and conduct a health-check to ensure that you are on target to extend your stay.
9. Check your documents meet the specified evidence requirements
The Immigration Rules contain a number of specified requirements for the form and content of the documents that you submit to prove that you have meet the substantive requirements of the Rules. If you fail to meet one of these requirements, you could find that your application is refused. It is therefore very important to check each individual document meets the requirements of the Immigration Rules prior to submitting your application.
10. Present your application professionally
If you present your application properly, this can help the Home Office make the correct decision on your application. With an organised application, it will be easier for the Immigration Officer to find the documents. It can also help to include an explanation as to exactly how you meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules and what documents have been submitted for each requirement.
If you would like any further advice or information about the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category or would like help extending your stay as an Entrepreneur then contact our specialist immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or email email@example.com.