Entrepreneur work permit route 'being abused'

30 Jan 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Mark harper, the UK immigration minister, has suggested that the UK work permit route for entrepreneurs is being abused.

Mr Harper claimed that fake businesses are being created and funds are being recycled in an effort to provide evidence of entrepreneurial activity where there is none.

He stated that some "meaningful assessment of credibility" of immigrants is to be introduced to assess whether or not those applying as entrepreneurs actually have the means of delivering investment to the UK.

The new rules, which will come into force this week (January 31st), are supposedly designed so as not to deter "legitimate applicants" but with the UK's appeal as an international destination for business already waning, there could well be some concern regarding any further restrictions to immigration regulations.

Mr Harper appeared not to see things this way and said that the new rules have "successfully brought about a steady increase in applications from overseas".

He added: "However, it is clear that following our tightening of other migration routes, the entrepreneur route is now being targeted by applicants seeking to abuse the immigration rules. There is strong evidence that funds to prove eligibility are being re-cycled amongst different applicants and that artificial businesses are being created.

"We need to tighten the current rules to allow for a meaningful assessment of the credibility of an applicant for this route."

The UK immigration rules started to be changed by the current government back in April of 2011 in a bid to reduce the number of people moving to the country from abroad. The government looked at all migration routes, including work permits, spouse and fiancé visas and student access. The entrepreneur route is the latest to be tightened up in an effort to reduce any abuse of the system.