Entrepreneurs and investors – the UK is open for business!
The Chinese year of the Sheep began on the 19th February and Master Hans Cua, the youngest Feng Shui master in Asia, predicted that in the year of the Wooden Sheep businesses dealing with textile, fashion, paper, rubber and wood will grow well, while technology, electronic gadgets and supplies, computers, solar power, food, those thinking invention, and new-idea-regulating industries will be making a lot of money.
The British economy has certainly got off to a good start. This week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced the UK’s economy grew by 2.6% last year, the fastest pace since 2007, coupled with a recent article reporting that 60% of small businesses say they expect profit growth this year. These figures now place the UK among the best performing of all the major economies in 2014.
The economic resurgence is being further stimulated by Britain’s active support for non-EEA nationals to consider entrepreneurial and investment opportunities within the UK through Tier 1 business visas.
The Tier 1 visa rules are designed to attract high net worth individuals from outside the EEA wishing to start-up a business or invest in the UK:
Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa
Under a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, successful applicants can set up or take over the running of one business or more as a self-employed individual, provided the work meets the criteria for being self-employed. Successful applicants can also bring family members and dependants with them.
To be eligible for a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa, applicants have to be from outside the EEA and Switzerland, and be able to show they have access to at least £200,000 investment funds and the skills, qualifications and experience necessary to establish a viable business in the UK.
Tier 1 Investor visa
A Tier 1 Investor visa allows investments of £2,000,000 or more in the UK. Successful applicants are permitted to invest in government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. Investor visa holders can also work, study or engage in business activities in the UK.
To apply for a Tier 1 Investor visa, applicants must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland, and show they want to invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK. The investment funds must either belong to the applicant, their spouse or civil partner and they must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and be available to be transferred to and invested in the UK.
Welcoming Tier 1 business visas
Too often the news is full of negative information regarding migration to the UK, but the doors are open for all Tier 1 investors and entrepreneurs.
Prime Minister, David Cameron confirms: “As part of our long-term economic plan, we are determined to do everything we can to back business, support investment and create jobs. We are already taking action on that front including cutting corporation tax to the lowest rate in the G7 but we’ve got to keep listening to business about what more we can do to support them.”
If you have a client from outside the EEA who has a business idea or who wishes to invest in an existing UK business, please contact us to discuss the full eligibility criteria and the options available to secure a Tier 1 business visa.
Anne Morris – Managing Director, DavidsonMorris
DavidsonMorris is a modern legal services provider specialising in immigration law. We support a range of private and commercial clients with expertise in the financial services, petrochemical and education sectors, advising major multi-nationals, FTSE 100 and Global 2000 companies, to help them meet their global mobility needs. We also support private entrepreneurs and investors in achieving British Citizenship, Naturalisation and Indefinite Leave to Remain.