Entrepreneurs Put Off By UK Immigration Rules

The continuous trips to an embassy, agonizingly long waits and constant rejections of visa applications has put – off a majority of entrepreneurs who wanted to set up shop in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom government which launched an entrepreneur visa scheme to attract foreign entrepreneurs to start businesses in the United Kingdom. However, the extreme bureaucracies and extensive red tape acted as a strong deterrent for most applicants. According to a recent report released by Migreat, the migration advice start up, the current scenario is truly appalling. 1 out of every 2 applications for a visa is turned down. What’s worse, the passport of the applicant is retained by the embassy till the decision is made. This makes things very difficult for the visa hopeful.

The agency Migreat, talked to over sixty successful, world class entrepreneurs and found out that the general consensus among entrepreneurs is that the United Kingdom visa laws are extremely tough and complex. A majority of the applicants who have their visa application rejected move to other countries. Many entrepreneurs who hoped to start their business in the United Kingdom also often end up shifting base to Berlin or Canada thanks to their relatively entrepreneur friendly laws. According to entrepreneurs, the laws there are very straight forward and there is no confusion regarding the application status. The cruel irony is that one out of every seventh British entrepreneur is foreign born. These foreign born entrepreneurs alone account for fourteen percent of the total jobs in the United Kingdom. Thus, allowing them to enter the United Kingdom is a great way to help the British economy recover, especially after the recent global recession.

Though the United Kingdom claims to be a trade friendly country, the visa procedures for entrepreneurs tell a different story. Every entrepreneur feels that the United Kingdom is very closed to trade. This acts as a major deterrent for any entrepreneur from setting up his or her business in the United Kingdom. Also, according to the Migreat report, there were a large number of administrative issues that created a hindrance in the issuance of these visas. Also, the requirements of the visas were highly unsuitable for early stage start – ups. This could greatly limit the number of entrepreneurs who decide to set up a business in the United Kingdom, no matter the potential for future growth.

Migreat conveyed that the United Kingdom needed to be more lax in the issuance of the entrepreneurial visa if it wanted to protect its economy, foster start – ups and remain internationally competitive business wise. It offered four points which the United Kingdom Home office could adopt to increase the number of entrepreneurs coming to the United Kingdom. These included extremely simple recommendations like returning an applicant’s passport quickly and changing the time frame involved with raising funds for their start – ups. If implemented, these simple changes could have a radically positive impact on the quality and quantity of entrepreneurs coming to the United Kingdom.