Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route and Covid-19

Tier 1 Entrepreneur

Our Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) clients will be pleased to hear that the Home Office has now provided some initial insight into how they will handle Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants whose usual business activity has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, what concessions they are willing to make over the Job Creation aspect of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa route.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Job Creation Requirement

Regrettably, the Home Office has confirmed that any time when a business’ employees are furloughed will not count towards the 12 month period of employment that Entrepreneur migrants are required to demonstrate. They have, however, confirmed that Entrepreneurs no longer need to employ at least two people for 12 consecutive months each and that the 12 month period that is required can now be made up of multiple employees across different months. Unfortunately, the Home Office has not provided any further information to clarify exactly how they will assess the Job Creation requirement under this concession. Still, we hope that further information will be forthcoming shortly.

We understand that migrants who have only had two employees in total during their most recent grant of leave as an Entrepreneur may not be able to benefit from the above concession, possibly leaving them unable to meet the Job Creation requirement. Fortunately, the Home Office has further confirmed that, if the business has not been able to employ staff for 12 months in total by the time the Entrepreneur migrant’s visa is due to expire, they will be able to temporarily extend their stay to provide sufficient time to meet the requirement.

It is important to note that the Home Office has only released very basic information in regard to the above provisions at present. It is possible that they may later refine the requirements and, in doing so, make them more restrictive. For example, it is possible that the Home Office may later state that the above provisions can only be relied upon where the applicant can demonstrate that the Job Creation requirement would have been met were it not for the impact the Covid-19 crisis had on their business. Accordingly, we would recommend that our clients take any decision over furloughing staff, etc. cautiously.

Please monitor our website and social media channels for further updates. We also recommend that Tier 1 Entrepreneurs contact their consultant should they require further advice that is tailored to their exact needs.