Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa: reasons for refusal and right to administrative review

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category is commonly used by individuals, who wish to set up, take over or join and being actively involved in running a UK business or businesses. The purpose for UK Government introducing this visa type was aimed at attracting wealthy individuals to the UK, thereby taking advantage of the related economic benefits and job creation for UK resident workers.

However, abuse of the Entrepreneur route has led to the Home Office toughening the Immigration Rules and, as one of the consequences, a “genuine entrepreneur test” was introduced. As a result, providing a business plan in support of an initial application became a mandatory requirement and an in-person interview nowadays is a common practice. Furthermore, the Home Office has imposed restrictions on students when switching to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route.

With the refusal rate for entry clearance applications or leave to remain applications (when switching from a different visa category within the UK) soared, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants started feeling greater pressure on getting their applications strong enough to succeed. Unfortunately, some applications are still being refused and the most common reasons for refusal are:

  • Failure to provide required documentary evidence in the correct format;

  • Submission of false representations or false documents;

  • Lack of relevant work experience or irrelevant educational background for the chosen business industry;

  • Poor performance during the Home Office interview

In case of a refusal, Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants have right to an administrative review. If it fails, the decision can be challenged by pursuing judicial review via the Upper Tribunal.

If the application is successful, an entry clearance application is usually granted for a period of 3 years and 4 months. Applications for leave to remain, when switching from a different visa category, are granted for 3 years’ period.

Having an initial application being approved is only a start of the journey towards settlement under the Entrepreneur visa route. There are many technical aspects which should be taken into consideration when submitting applications for extension and indefinite leave to remain in the UK. With constantly changing immigration rules, it might be difficult for the Entrepreneur migrants to read and understand the immigration requirements and the Home Office guidance. It is very easy to misread the requirements, which might result in extension application being refused and the only remaining remedy would be a submission of an entry clearance application.

The most common reasons for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension or settlement applications being refused are the failure to create two full time jobs and/or failure to provide required documentary evidence in the correct format.

Alike the initial application, the decision to refuse Entrepreneur extension application can be challenged via administrative review. It allows to raise any permitted case work error and, if an error, in fact, has been made, ask for the decision to be corrected.

The time limit to apply for administrative review is 14 calendar days from the date when the decision on the application is received. If the administrative review fails, the leave might still be protected by Section 3C; whereby, following unsuccessful administrative review, there might be an option of submission of a fresh application or switching to a different visa category.

With many years of experience in assisting Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants, we believe that it is imperative to seek a legal assistance at every stage of the process. Should you require immigration advice regarding your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application or you need assistance with submitting an administrative review or judicial review, please do not hesitate to contact our solicitors and immigration advisers.

Please note that the information on this page is for general purposes only and is not intended to replace legal advice.