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What can you do if your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is refused due to the genuineness test?

The genuineness test came into effect in January 2013. At first it only applied to first time applicants but was quickly extended to extension and settlement applications.

There are lots of things the Home Office will look at when deciding if an application is genuine, such as is your business a genuine commercial business that actually will, or does, exist in the real world and not just on paper. One of the problems is lack of transparency – there isn’t any specific guidance on what is “genuine”.  This means it’s even more important that you submit ALL of your documents, can answer questions credibly if you’re interviewed and know your business plan really well.

If you are refused you:

  • Can get a copy of the interview notes. These can be really useful as they can show mistakes and lack of understanding by the Entry Clearance Officer and explain doubts and credibility issues.

 

  • Ask for an Administrative Review (AR). You can’t appeal any Points Based visa refusals to the Court anymore but you can ask for an AR. This is a request to another Home Office to review your visa application. Rather unhelpfully, you can’t submit new evidence. So really only an option if you think you submitted all the correct documents but the Home Office made a mistake in refusing your visa. If you do decide to submit and AR, you can’t send any new evidence. The decision will be reviewed by a Home Office caseworker, which can question the impartiality of the decision making. Once again you’ll need to pay another Home Office fee, this time for £80.

 

  • Apply for a Judicial Review (JR). If the AR is refused, which is often the case you may be able to apply for a JR. This is an application to the Court in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of the Home Office decision A JR is a challenge to the way in which the decision has been made and doesn’t necessarily examine the rights and wrongs of the decision.  Once again you can’t usually submit new evidence, although the case will be heard by an independent Judge. JR is an expensive process and if you’re successful the Court will send your case back to the Home Office. However, technically you could be refused for a different reason.

 

  • Make a fresh application. Given that you’ve already been refused, you need to be very careful here. You should only consider making a fresh application if you can explain, justify or provide evidence relating to your previous refusal. Of course, you’ll have to pay the Home Office fee of £982 again when you apply.

 

What can you to do next?

Several factors will come into play when deciding what to do next e.g. cost, timescales, new evidence, and whether all this fits with your business needs. This will be different for every business. 

If you have any questions about this, or UK immigration law in general please contact Mandie Sewa, Head of our Immigration Department, by telephone on 020 3818 5433 or by email at immigration@mooreblatch.com

 

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