An increasing number of South African’s are targeting UK visas via the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa scheme in a bid to gain UK citizenship, according to international managing director of Sable, Gary Kockott.
According to Kockott, this increased interest in the visa could be due to corruption, political unrest, government cuts and the potential for an imminent recession in South Africa, all of which have encouraged many to seek an alternative life in the UK.
In order to quality for a UK visa, the government specifies that all applicants to the entrepreneur scheme must be prepared to invest a minimum of £200,000 in a new or existing business in the UK. Applicants will then be granted an initial UK visa for three years, allowing family member to enter the country before an extension is applied for.
Once UK visa holders have been in the country for five years under the entrepreneur scheme, visa holders are then eligible to for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
In a response to the news, Kockott has added that he believes Britain would welcome South African investors and entrepreneurs, stating that the UK is currently in need of foreign investment.
He adds that the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa scheme is the ideal method of meeting the needs of both South Africans and British businesses, helping to bridge the gap easily and effectively.
However, some critics have argued that South Africans seeking British citizenship should consider Tier 2 work permit instead, which allows skilled workers to work for a UK employer with a Tier 2 Sponsorship License and ultimately gain legal permanent residence status.