The Government has announced that as from 6 April 2015 applicants applying for an extension to their leave to remain or for Indefinite leave to Remain will be subject to a ‘genuineness test.’ Applicants applying for Entry Clearance are already subjected to this test.
As with Entry Clearance applications, caseworkers will carry out a range of subjective checks in addition to ensuring that the applicant meets the mandatory points requirements. Specific checks will be conducted to ensure that the funds have been invested into the business for genuine business purposes and that the applicant genuinely intends to continue operating one or more businesses in the UK.
In making the assessment, the Secretary of State will assess these issues based on the balance of probabilities and may take into account factors such as:
- the evidence submitted by the applicant;
- the viability and credibility of the source of the investment funds;
- the credibility of the financial accounts of the business;
- the credibility of the applicant’s business activity in the UK;
- the credibility of the job creation for which the applicant is claiming points;
- that where mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance is required, this has been obtained; and
- any other relevant information.
Many entrepreneurs who are coming up to the extension stage will have made their initial applications to enter the scheme prior to the introduction in January 2013 of the genuineness test for initial applications. Passing this highly subjective test will require thorough preparation by the applicant and the preparatory process should commence as early as possible to allow time for sufficient evidence and documents to be collated. In addition, we expect that more applicants are likely to be called for an interview.
Changes have also been introduced for those making an initial application under this category as follows:
- applicants relying on funds they hold themselves must provide evidence of the source of those funds if they have held the funds for less than 90 days before making the application. This will require applicants to provide evidence that they have either held their own funds for at least 90 days or, in cases where this is not the case, evidence as to the source of those funds.
- all applicants will be required to submit a business plan.
In addition to these key changes, the Government has made other changes relating to how the funds may be spent and evidential requirements.
We are experienced in advising Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) clients and hold a 100% success record for this category. If you require legal advice, please contact us.