Interviews are not a common part of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur process but sometimes the caseworker may request an interview to ascertain further information. This does not mean that they are concerned or feel the application has problems, but that they want to clarify further information about a business plan i.e. how you will employ staff based on the business model or other such questions. The purpose of this guide is to give you an idea of the type of questions to expect.
- There are no right or wrong answers and the person asking the questions is not making an instant assessment. Often the feedback from the interview (Chat log) is what the actual caseworker will see and they will review the answers coupled with your evidence and make a decision if they feel you are a “Genuine Entrepreneur applicant”.
- Interviews can be by telephone or in person.
- The interview was conducted in English as I mentioned in my application to be interviewed in English.
- They can ask around 30-45 questions.
The Genuine Entrepreneur Test
The Genuine Entrepreneur Test is the standard by which an applicant is measured to see if they are indeed a genuine entrepreneur looking to start-up a business in the UK.
For initial applications, the Entry Clearance Office (ECO) must be satisfied that:
- the applicant genuinely intends, and is able, to establish, take over or become a
director of one or more businesses in the UK within the next 6 months
- the applicant genuinely has established, taken over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK and continues to operate that business or businesses
- the money is genuinely available to the applicant and will remain available to them until such time as it is spent for the purposes of their business or businesses
- if the applicant is relying on one or more previous investments to score points, they have genuinely invested all or part of the investment funds required into one or more genuine businesses in the UK
- the applicant does not intend to take employment in the UK other than working in their business
They will take the following into consideration:
- The viability and credibility of the source of the money available for investment
- The viability and credibility of the migrant’s business plan and market research into their chosen business sector
- Their previous educational and business experience (or lack thereof)
- Their immigration history and previous activity in the UK
- If the nature of the business requires mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance, whether that accreditation, registration and/or insurance has been obtained
- Any other relevant information that can be considered within the context of the genuine entrepreneur test as drafted in the Immigration Rules
How do I prepare for my Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa interview?
It’s a lot simpler than it sounds – you should know your business inside and out and whilst this sounds obvious, not everyone does.
To help with the interview, you may want to break down the areas of the business into categories e.g.:
- Immigration History
- Business Plan
- Viability of the Business
These are an example of some of the questions you might be asked and should only be used as a guide to what you might be asked.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Interview Questions are broken down into different sections and could include:
- Experience & Education/Qualifications
Go through your CV thoroughly, and be in a position to elaborate and expand on all areas, including:
- How are your experience and previous roles relevant to your business?
- Explain how your experience will help you to implement your business.
- How do your qualifications complement your business idea? Consider both ‘soft’ transferrable skills as well as technical skills or others with more direct relevance.
- What experience do you have in running this type of business?
- Are you educated in this field?
- Why do you want to do this business?
- What due-diligence have you performed in regard to starting a business in the UK?
- Are you applying as part of a team? (How did you meet your partner?)
- What will your role be in the business?
- What is your current job?
- Why do you want to do this business?
- Background to business
Here you want to explain the reasons behind your decision to set up an enterprise in the UK.
- Why have you chosen the UK for your business? Did you consider other countries as alternatives?
- Why have you chosen to pursue this business in particular?
- What research have you done to date on your business idea?
- What have you done so far to set up the business? Is it registered?
- Do you have any professional advisers? What are their roles?
- What previous employment and business experience do you have to enable you to run your own business?
- Business plan
This is where you bring your business idea to life. You need to know your plan inside-out.
- What evidence do you have that your services are required?
- Who wrote your business plan?
- What insurances will you need to operate your business?
- What kind of premises will you need?
- What is the minimum wage in the UK?
- Can you briefly explain your business plan to me?
- What is your marketing strategy and how will you market your business?
- What competition is there in the market for your type of business?
4. Viability of the Business
- How much profit will you make per sale?
- Can you tell me about your competition?
- What part of the UK do you intend to start your business in?
- Why did you choose this location?
- How will you support your family whilst the business is still new?
- What advantages does your business have over the competition?
- What profit will you make in the first year?
- Immigration history
The Home Office will also want an understanding of your previous movements and activities.
- How many times have you visited the UK?
- What was the purpose of those visits?
- How many relatives do you have in the UK?
- Will you be applying for settlement or returning to your country of origin?
- When was the last time you visited the UK?
- Was this application completed by you?
- Have you ever violated any immigration laws
- Who is funding the business?
- Where did the money come from?
- Is the money held in the UK or overseas?
- How will you invest the money?
- How long has the money been in your possession?
- What is the VAT threshold for this year?
- What are your startup costs?
If you are making a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application and need assistance please contact us for advice.