UK visa rules 'putting entrepreneurs off'

26 Mar 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Foreign entrepreneurs are reportedly being put off investing in Britain due to the strict UK visa system that has been brought in by the coalition government.

Reports from migration advice start-up Migreat found that the “complex and strict” UK immigration system and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa category is responsible for pushing businesses to pursue other avenues, such as setting their company up at home or in other countries with more favourable systems.

Canada and Germany are among the countries cited as having more favourable regulations in place, according to the 60 entrepreneurs questioned about their experiences with the UK visa system by Migreat.

The report stated: “The current tone of hostility towards immigration and the stricter rules sends a message that the UK is closed to business, and supports the perception of a system designed to fail them.”

Research from the Centre for Entrepreneurs and DueDil has found that despite the current atmosphere, foreign investors have historically brought a significant amount of business to the UK and found success in turn.

The figures show that one in seven British firms are actually owned by a foreign-born entrepreneur. This creates in the region of 14 per cent of UK jobs.

Vince Cable, business secretary, spoke to the Huffington Post about the findings: “This is a timely report in light of the recent controversy over migrant entrepreneurs as UK job creators.

“It's important that we get this route right to ensure that the next migrant business success stories, like Caffe Nero or, don't slip through the UK's fingers. We must send a clear signal that we are open to business.”