Entrepreneurs applying for leave to enter the UK in order to establish a new business / invest in an existing business in the UK will need to demonstrate their eligibility by satisfying a points-based assessment.
This visa category replaced the old Business Visa category and is for applicants who wish to set up or take over and be actively involved in running a business in the UK. The applicant will need to have at least £200,000 available to invest in their proposed business. Importantly, these funds can be obtained from a third party / parties. Furthermore, it is possible for two people to apply for entrepreneur visas as an entrepreneurial team and they will be entitled to rely on the same £200,000 funds for this purpose.
In January 2013 the UK’s Home Office introduced a “Genuine Entrepreneur” test aimed at ensuring that applicants for an entrepreneur visa will be genuinely likely to establish a successful business in the UK as opposed to abusing this visa category in order to gain entry to the UK with no intention of carrying out any business in the country. The “Genuine Entrepreneur” test requires an applicant to submit a Business Plan and also takes into account whether their academic / vocational qualifications and work experience makes them suitable to run the business they propose to invest in.
Since the UK Home Office does not recognise South Africa as a majority English speaking country, South Africans applying for an entrepreneur visa will need to pass an English language proficiency test in the speaking and listening categories (reading and writing not required). The level of proficiency required is relatively low and should be easily attainable by the majority of South Africans.
There is no cap on the number of visas granted under the entrepreneur category.