Today my team member and I got our Entrepreneur Visas approved!
I am thankful beyond words to this forum and its members who have provided a wealth of information and knowledge about going through the application process. I found my team member on this forum too.
We chose to join as existing company in the UK. They design and manufacture Hi-Fi Audio Systems with ability to stream music. It's a proper British Company. I found them through a member, who is also a business consultant, found on this forum. She can be reached at "email@example.com". I went through 5-7 BPs of existing businesses and after weighing in pros and cons of each of them, we decided to join this particular company. The risk to evaluate and verify the company, and decision to invest is entirely ours!
We also hired a solicitor in London, to add credibility to our application especially since we didn't have our own business plan and chose to join an existing UK company. I never set foot in the UK, but my team member studied MBA there and did work on PSW.
It was almost an 8 month project for me and it finally culminated in good news. Here is our timeline:
- 12-Feb-2015: Applied online, both of us.
- 13-Feb-2015: Submitted documents and biometrics at the application centre by me, and on 16-Feb-2015 by my team member. We submitted docs in different cities.
- 18-Feb-2015: Got acknowledgement emails, both of us.
- 25-Feb-2015: Got email from BDHC saying "Unfortunately, the processing of your application has not been straightforward and we have been unable to make a decision on your application within our customer service targets. We will continue to progress your application and make a decision as soon as possible."
- 27-Feb-2015: Got interview call and email
- 03-Mar-2015: Interviewed separately by the same person through video call. 10:40am for my team member in his city, and 11:40am for me in my city.
- 04-Mar-2015: Got email from BDHC in the morning that the visa application has been processed and sent to VFS
- 04-Mar-2015: Got email from VFS in the evening that the documents will be delivered by courier (we paid for courier).
- 05-Mar-2105: Bot of us got docs and passports back around 12:10 - 12:20pm, with visas stamped!
Here is the list of documents we submitted:
- Main Documents
1 Application for UK Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa Entry Clearance
2 Solicitor Representation Letter
4 Cover Letter
6 "Letter of Intent" from the XYZ Company and valuation of the company by a third party FCA authorised company.
7 Copy of team member's Letter of Intent from the company.
8 Evidence of funds for investment Bank Letters, Statements from my bank (Joint Account with Team member).
9 Source of Funds for myself Bank statement of my original bank account (90+ days of statement for investment funds).
10 Source of Funds for team member - Affidavit Letter of Support and passport from my team member's brother, who provided almost 33% of the entire fund.
11 Evidence of Maintenance Fund & also a Source of some part of fund for myself - 3 months Bank Statement from another personal bank account.
12 Evidence of Maintenance Fund & also a Source of some part of fund for my team member - 3 months Bank Statement from my team member's personal account.
13 English Language Ability: MS Degree from USA for me, MBA Degree from UK for my team member.
14 TB Test Certificate
15 Bachelor of Technology degree, both of us, from India.
1 XYZ Company Business Plan.
2 Market Research - from two industry leading market research companies in the field of business of the company.
3 Marketing Material - Copy of Catalogue
4 Open Sales Orders, Press releases of the appointment of a previous VP of Europe and UK of a big company, as chairman in XYZ compay
5 Company Current Appointments from Companies House
6 Company Latest Financial Statement - May 2013
7 Company Profit & Loss details - Current
8 Company Balance Sheet - current actual data as of Dec 2014
9 Our personal IT Returns in India, for latest year.
10 Previous Employment & Salary Certificates (I worked in USA and China for a big company that manufacturers Flash Memory products.)
11 Evidence of my Current Business in India (I run an Import-Export company) - Business Card, Company Status and Current Designation attested by Chartered Accountant, Website print, Original Certificate of Incorporation, Original Certificate of Importer-Exporter code - Only my wife and I own this company, team member is not part of my Indian company.
12 Evidence of my team member's current self employed status as a consultant in an Indian company - company letter
13 Team member's P45 document from his employment in UK on PSW.
Interview lasted for about 20-30 minutes for each of us. Almost all questions are pretty general - why we chose to join an existing company instead of coming up with our own plan. What is the source of funds? (My source of funds is my wife's and my salary savings from US, China and India. My team members source is his salary savings from UK, India salary and his brother's money.) Business forecasts? Business address? How big is the company? What was their latest revenue filed with HMRC? What will be our share in the company? What will be our roles in the company? How we will help the company grow. Who are the main competitors? What are the Unique Selling Points (USP) of the company? A bit about professional background. How I met my team member.
Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer (a lady) said that she would decide on our application by the end of the day and that we should receive our passports in a couple of days.
If you need any info or help from me, please feel to contact me by PM or give me your email ID here.