The Tier 1 Innovator Visa Decision Process is Long Winded – Myth 2



The Tier 1 Innovator Visa Decision Process is Long Winded – Myth 2

Setting up business is a daunting task in itself, let alone setting up a new venture in foreign lands. Add to this mix, the application process – the planning, investment amount, the volume of documentation, filling endless forms for the relevant visa category and, as in any government interaction, the long wait times for the decision.

The two major issues are the investment amounts and the waiting times for the decision. For the purpose of this article we address only the decision time lines of the popular programmes. The investment amounts for the various programmes have not been considered, though it definitely is a major factor to form a decision for applying to a certain country.

Waiting times is a major hurdle for someone planning to set up business overseas. The longer the decision time, the greater the uncertainty in the planning. The applicant might be running a business in his home country. One of the main drags of uncertainty is whether the applicant should invest in the current domestic business to the level one would wish to or wait for the decision to come before deciding how he/she would deal with their domestic business and the new overseas business. Alternatively, the applicant might be reviewing whether to wrap up his domestic business if he/ she gets a positive decision. Similar cliffhanger awaits applicants who may be employed and heading key departments and businesses for their employers. In either case, it basically comes down to putting a hold on life itself for that wait period of time. Almost all major decisions get deferred to post decision.

There are a number of countries that have business/investment related immigration visa programmes. The leading English-speaking ones being the US, Canada and Australia, apart from the UK. Each has its own rules that govern the visa category. The US calls it the EB-5 Immigrant Investor programme and for Canada it is the Investor visa from Quebec province. Though the province itself is French speaking, the popularity is high given that Canada is a great destination. The whole process is time consuming and takes a few years to complete. Similarly with the US EB5, the process may run over few years. Singapore and New Zealand are better in terms of a faster-processing time between nine to twelve months and three to four months respectively.

The UK Home Office has an amazing turnaround time, for both the investor and innovator visa, of two to four weeks generally. Once an applicant is ready with their documentation and application, they have to wait at most a month to find out whether they can proceed with their plans to set up business in the UK. This quick turnaround time takes the sting out of the whole decision uncertainty and the applicant can move on with life one way or the other.

Hereby we have busted another myth. Thanks for your patience and we will keep posting more myth breaking articles to make your planning process easier.