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Entrepreneur immigration rules tightened to prevent abuse

February 4, 2013

Immigration minister, Mark Harper, has made changes to immigration rules following evidence that the Entrepreneur migration entry programme has been abused.

In April 2011, changes were made to the Investor and Entrepreneur immigration entry criteria to encourage more overseas entrepreneurs to apply to live in the UK. However, in a written statement to Parliament, Mr Harper said that “following our tightening of other migration routes, the Entrepreneur
route is now being targeted by applicants seeking to abuse the immigration rules. ”

It would appear that false businesses have been used as evidence of eligibility, and funds used to prove eligibility of would-be entrepreneurs have been “re-cycled amongst different applicants”.

A new ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test has been created to help the Border Agency assess the credibility of new applicants, and from 31st January 2013, entrepreneurs will be assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure that they have the necessary funds to remain in the UK, rather than just at the time of the initial application.

The new rules will apply to individuals who have already arrived in the UK via the Entrepreneur migration route, as well as new applicants.

You can read the full written statement here (in PDF format).