On July 10 2014 the Home Office published a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules, with some provisions coming into effect on July 11 2014.
These changes impose restrictions on the ability of those already in the United Kingdom as Tier 4 (Student) or Tier 1 (Post-study Work) migrants to make an in-country application for an extension of stay under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route. The immigration minister has claimed that the majority of those applying from within the country for leave in the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category have come to the United Kingdom to study and are making speculative or fraudulent applications in order to extend their stay. The Home Office investigation has extended to checking tax records which suggest that few have gone on to engage in genuine entrepreneurial activity and a significant proportion have taken employment in breach of their conditions, typically at low skill levels.
Applicants who submitted an application for leave to remain before July 11 2014 will not be affected by the new provisions and will have their application decided under the rules in force on July 10 2014.
The new provisions will not affect those applying to switch from Tier 1 (Post-study Work) who have already established a business in the United Kingdom and can provide sufficient evidence of their entrepreneurial activity; nor will they affect those qualifying on the basis of seed funding or funding provided by another government department, as these applicants will already have demonstrated the necessary credentials as an entrepreneur in order to secure this funding.
The Immigration Rules also now clarify that entrepreneurs are prohibited from working for another business under a contract of service as an employee or apprentice.
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Original reporting by The International Law Office 8/8/14
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