As outlined in previous posts, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur entry clearance category has now been replaced by innovator and start-up visa; however, migrants currently in the UK can still extend their visas until 5 April 2023 and apply for settlement until 5 April 2025.
One of the extension requirements is to have reached a net increase in the jobs (if the applicant has taken over an existing business) by creating two new job positions. Both positions must be full time and have existed for at least 12 months. Moreover, only settled workers or EU or British citizens can be counted towards the job requirement.
A net increase of jobs as a result of the entrepreneur’s investment or services means that, whether the applicant has taken over an existing business instead of establishing a new one, the company can’t simply cease an existing employee’s role and replace it with someone else. The increase in jobs must be “net” for at least 12 months.
According to the Immigration rules, in order to be “full-time”, a job position must involve at least 30 hours of paid work per week. In other words, the applicant could potentially rely on two different full-time employees (each one working 30 hours per week), or, alternatively, on 1 full-time employee and 2 part-time workers as long as the two part-time positions amount together to 30 working hours per week. This is admissible only if the position covered by the two part-time workers is the same.
Both the roles must have existed for 12 months; however, this does not imply 12 consecutive months of employment. Provided the position is the same, the requirement may be satisfied whether 12 months of employment compliant to PAYE have been completed regardless if there was a gap between (for example, it lasts for 6 months in one year and 6 months the following year).
The jobs must comply with all relevant UK legislation including, but not limited to, the National Minimum Wage Regulations in effect at the time and the Working Time Regulations 1998.
Appendix A of the Immigration Rules lists the specified evidence which must be provided with an extension application. Since April 2019, a statement from the applicant has been introduced as a mandatory document; this document must offer an overview of the company and explain how entrepreneurs have been implementing the initial Business plan goals on a daily basis over the three-year period.
Extension applications can be tedious and complex whether the correct documentation has not been stored along the three years period.
Contact one of our immigration lawyers to discuss your extension application. They will be able to advise on the complexity of the case and envisage potential weaknesses.