Wednesday, 7 May 2014

(More added) Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa: what questions are asked at the interview?

We had a post under this name in February 2014 and here is a more updated one, with more examples.

Have you applied for an Entrepreneur visa inside the UK? Or switching to it from Post-Study Work where you need to already have a business? If Yes, it is very likely you will be invited for an interview. If you have not been invited yet then it is very likely you will be invited.
In many cases we had, the UK Visas & Immigration (former UKBA) invites for a face-to-face interview in Sheffield or Leeds, although sometimes with a very short notice. In this case the applicant has a chance to prepare for the interview. You may also be phoned by a caseworker and asked questions, effectively conducting a phone interview right at that moment. It may happen on a Saturday.

If you are asked to attend an interview, an letter  of invitation does not say what you may need to bring at your interview. In the recent cases it says to send any extra documents prior to the interview. And at the interview itself one client of ours was told “I am only here to write your answers and do not have details of your case’.

Here are some examples of questions we have seen our clients asked. Please remember you may be asked different questions but you may still find it useful:

“I looked at your website, you say (this) or (that). Can you provide more information on it?” The point here is that you need to expect to be asked about anything on your website.

 “Your business plan says (this) or (that). Can you provide more details?” A good lesson to learn here! A business plans tends to be like a CV – a lot is promised on it yet not everything reflects the reality. Here you have to be prepared for questions about anything in your business plan. Or, if not too late, to think well before writing your business plan.

For ‘contractors’, usually having a contract with IT or accountant firm: “You have a contract to work at the client’s premises Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm. How are you going to combine this with developing your business?”

“Do you have an accountant?” and “Do you have business insurance?” We normally advise to include this with the application but the UKBA may also ask about Employer’s Liability Insurance, even though there is no requirement to employ people at the initial visa application. It is a requirement at the extension stage, so technically, this is when Employer’s Liability Insurance will be relevant. However, it will not hurt to include it anyway.   

“Are the funds still available”? Meaning that you have not spent the £50,000/£200,000. The funds must be kept on your account or invested in the business but not in paying yourself.

The following are most recent additions, based on more recent cases:

Questions about UK employment law and employees rights, such as: “How much is a minimum wage in the UK?” This is probably because an Entrepreneur visa implies creation of at least 2 jobs in the UK, however, this has to be met when applying for an extension, not for an initial visa.

If you provide evidence from your clients based outside the UK, you may be asked “Why didn’t they hire someone in their own country to do this work?”.

You may be asked about your qualifications and how they are related to your kind of business.  
Questions about your business: what has been done so far, why this type of business ,why in the UK, competitors, market size, office space.

Also, if there is an emergency plan in case the business fails.

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