The Immigration Act 2014 (Commencement No. 4, Transitional and Saving Provisions and Amendment) Order 2015 (SI 2015/371 (C.18)) has been published and comes into effect variously on 2 March 2015 and 6 April 2015. It is the fourth commencement order made under the Immigration Act 2014.
It will remove appeal rights for those who make an application under Tiers 1, 2 and 5, on or after 2nd March 2015. Those persons will also become subject to the new removals regime.
This makes it even more important for Tier 1 Entrepreneurs to ensure that they meet the requirements of the rules.
We have had a lot of enquiries recently from Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants to confirm what the rules mean when they say they can acquire a UK business.
The rules in their present form say;
‘This route is for migrants who wish to establish, join or take over one or more businesses in the UK.’ Paragraph 245D (a) of the immigration rules.’
For most businessmen taking over an existing business would seem like an attractive proposition. They may have decided that they wish to move to the UK and given the amount of time, risks and effort associated with establishing a business it may be easier to invest or acquire a business that has already been running.
Potential Tier 1 Entrepreneurs must be aware that if they decide to acquire a business they must ensure that £200,000 is spent on that business that they have acquired. Any funds spent acquiring that business will not count, particularly where the funds go to the vendor.
In the Statement of Changes introduced today it has been made clear that spending on acquiring a business does not include;
‘buying the business from a previous owner, where the money ultimately goes to that previous owner (irrespective of whether it is received or held directly or indirectly by that previous owner) rather than into the business being purchased (This applies regardless of whether the money is channelled through the business en route to the previous owner, for example by means of the applicant or business purchasing ‘goodwill’ or other assets which were previously part of the business.’ 245DC(ii)(2)
We strongly advise Tier 1 Entrepreneurs, whether applying for leave to enter or for an extension to obtain the correct advice to ensure compliance within the framework of the Immigration Rules.