Four people representing venture capital and entrepreneurship in the UK who were closely involved in consultation on the UK government’s recent changes to the immigration rules have give an unqualified welcome to the recent announcement on Tier 1 Visa requirements by the Immigration Minister, Damian Green.

Under the new rules, FSA-regulated venture capital firms and accredited business incubator programmes will now have the effective power to support entry of prospective entrepreneurs whose businesses they wish to finance, with as little as £50,000.

Entrepreneurs from non-EU countries who create ten jobs or turnover exceeding £5 million in three years will have the right to settle here after three years, as opposed to the previous five-year rule. This change is considered to be a major boost to cross-border entrepreneurship and innovation that will benefit the UK economy. 

The government also announced a relaxation of the existing rule for investors in businesses who now, if they invest £5 million in a UK business will also be eligible to settle here after three instead of five years. Those investing over £10 million will be eligible to settle here after two years.

Discussions which began with the previous government and which have continued with the coalition administration have been led by Alex van Someren of Amadeus Capital Partners, Neil Davidson of Red Gate Software, Jon Bradford of Springboard and Reshma Sohoni of Seedcamp, all of whom say they are delighted with the government announcement. 

“Our mission to enhance the entrepreneurial gene pool in the UK by facilitating the entry of prospective entrepreneurs from across the globe has been significantly advanced by this announcement”, said Alex van Someren, General Partner of the Amadeus & Angels Seed Fund.

Neil Davidson of Red Gate Software said: “This is a fantastic, forward-looking first step. I hope that other parts of government will follow UKBA’s lead in recognising the benefits that sensible, evidence-based, non-sensationalist immigration policy can have on everybody living and working in the UK.”

Reshma Sohoni, CEO of Seedcamp, said: “The changes to the immigration rules help both the suppliers (investors) of capital and demand (entrepreneurs) for capital and therefore are quite comprehensive and high impact. The rules were developed in conjunction with the constituency that’s most impacted and hence you can see the immediate widespread positive public reaction. We are truly happy about this bold move in the right direction”.

Jon Bradford of Springboard said “These changes to immigration rules represent a massive leap forward, recognising the “brave new world” where the cost of starting a technology business have plummeted. These changes will create the right environment to attract and land the best and brightest teams from around the world rather than individual entrepreneurs which the legalisation previously allowed for.”

At the same time, discussions on possible Startup Visa proposals in the United States are still continuing without any current visibility of when, if at all, such changes might be enacted.

Full details of the announcement can be found at: 

Contact information:

Alex van Someren, Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd:

Neil Davidson, Red Gate Software:

Jon Bradford, Springboard:

Kirsten Campbell, Seedcamp: