New visa rules to entice foreign entrepreneurs to UK unveiled

‘The UK remains open for business’, says immigration minister

Foreign entrepreneurs and investors have been given an additional incentive to come to the UK after the Home Office announced that new visa rules will reward those that contribute to economic growth.

Under the new rules, announced yesterday, entrepreneurs who come to Britain and invest large sums of money will be given the right to settle permanently in the UK faster. Those who invest £5m will be allowed to settle here after three years and those that invest £10m or more will be allowed to settle after two. This compares with the minimum five year requirement that is currently in place.

Entrepreneurs will also be able to settle in the UK more quickly if they create 10 jobs or turn over £5m in a three year period.

The announcement that the UK is open for business comes after the government made clear its commitment to supporting a private sector led economic recovery.

Commenting on the announcement, Damian Green, immigration minister, said: “Entrepreneurs and investors can play a major part in our economic recovery and I want to do everything I can to ensure that Britain remains an attractive destination for them.   “Last year we issued far too few visas to those who wish to set up a business or invest in the UK – I intend to change that.”

It was also announced that a new visit visa will be created for prospective entrepreneurs, which will allow them to enter the UK in order to secure their funding and make arrangements for starting their business before they transfer onto a full entrepreneur visa.

While the standard investment threshold for an entrepreneur to qualify for a visa will remain at £200,000, the government will also make provision for potential high-growth businesses to come to Britain with £50,000 in funding from a reputable approved organisation – for example venture capitalists, including angel investors, or through seed competitions.

  © Crimson Business. Ltd 2011

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