30 January 2013

Entrepreneur UK visa abuse to be addressed

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Immigration Minister Mark Harper has said he will carry out a review of the UK visa route used by foreign entrepreneurs after reports of abuse.

UK visa

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said there was evidence the entrepreneur UK visa had been abused.

The minister said a 'meaningful assessment of the credibility' of UK visa applicants would be introduced after reports of fake businesses being created with recycled funds in order to gain access to the UK.

The entrepreneur visa is intended to attract foreign investment into the UK and offers visa holders the chance to live and work in the UK if they are willing to invest £1,000,000 in the British economy.

However, the minister claims that some unscrupulous applicants are attempting to manipulate the system to gain entry to the country.

"The entrepreneur route is now being targeted by applicants seeking to abuse the immigration rules," said Mr Harper.

"There is strong evidence that funds to prove eligibility are being recycled amongst different applicants and that artificial businesses are being created.

"We need to tighten the current rules to allow for a meaningful assessment of the credibility of an applicant for this route."

Mr Harper insisted that the UK would remain open to 'legitimate applicants' wanting to invest in the UK, despite the crackdown on spurious applications.

"We will protect genuine entrepreneurs and continue to encourage them to invest in the UK where they will be made welcome."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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