Tag Archives: entrepreneur

French Tech Ticket: A Financial incentive to foreign Entrepreneurs

France wants to attract foreign entrepreneurs and startups.

Foreign entrepreneurs granted the new French Entrepreneur visa (also called French Tech Ticket) will be provided with a grant of12,500Euros which will be exempted of income tax and social taxation (CSG-CRDS) – as agreed by the French Parliament in the amendment of a law on international investment.

The French Gov and the city of Paris launched the French Tech Ticket visa this year to promote its startup eco-system worldwide. This financial incentive aims to attract and support foreign entrepreneurs starting innovative companies in France.

The French Tech Ticket acts as a comprehensive  “Welcome Pack” for foreign entrepreneurs. Successful applicants will benefit from a fast track visa process to obtain a work visa and receive  – on top of a grant of 12,500Euros per founder (maximum 3 people) –  an office space in a partner startup incubator, support on settling down and discounts on Air France flights.

The grant of 12.500Euros is renewable after 6 months if the project shows traction. Next year, the French Tech Ticket should be extended to the whole country incubators. For now, the French Tech Ticket works only with foreign entrepreneurs wanting to relocate in Paris.

Making Economic Sense

This measure to exempt the grant of taxes comes as natural as the 12,500Euros are granted by the French Government through the BPI. Indeed, a taxation on a government subsidy would not make much sense.

The successful applicants to the French Tech Ticket will be announced next January. In total, 722 startup business proposals were submitted last September by 1,372 entrepreneurial candidats. Only 50 of them will be granted the visa.

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Interested in Startup Visa Schemes? Download Migreat Report on Startup Visas programmes or read our latest blog post on the countries accepting entrepreneurs in 2015.

Can Tech help refugees? Take-Aways of #Techfugees conference and Hackathon

On October 1st and 2nd, leaders in the Tech Community gathered in London to brainstorm about what mobile and web technologies could be created that could help refugees find new homes and begin their new lives in Europe. Migreat was there, to present a prototype of an immigration assistant aimed at refugees and to participate in the effort. Here’s a recap of the intense two days and some of the main ideas that came out of the event.

A Spontaneous Reaction from the Tech Community
The event was organised in just two weeks time via a Facebook group led by Mike Butcher and supported by many other local industry representatives like Nesta,  London Tech Advocates, Skills MattersPavla Kopecna and the Exponential Network who offered space, sponsorship and support during the event.

Over two days, a group of 300 software developers, tech enthusiasts, NGOs and institutions like the UNHCR discussed, demonstrated and started building  technologies that have the potential to do things like save lives at sea and help refugees navigate the EU geography and immigration systems.

Here is the full agenda and live-stream of the presentation and participants

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Migreat presented and demo’d its immigration wizard and community platform that serves over two million migrants in Europe today.

We were impressed by What3words mapping technology, inspired by Marieme Jamme speaking as a refugee herself (and who is now a successful entrepreneur) and left energized by the UNHCR’s visionary talk.

The first day demonstrated how complex the crisis is and moved Ed Saperia to write on the hackpad the day after “A lot of people are building a lot of things all across the world, much of which is duplicated or never makes it to deployment. So (..) have  a look at other things people are doing” before building something yourself, Ed advised.

Techfugee Hackathon
Now hacking!

At the hack, the atmosphere was definitely more collaborative than competitive. Teams of volunteer software developers were split amongst small tables and given a common online hackpad with information from the previous day. Some people roamed the room to exchange information on what each table’s project was on and to connect similar/complimentary projects.

Migreat’s Experience
We met a group building an online platform to connect refugee families to local UK host families – and it made us want to share our experience developed while building local online communities with Migreat.

We discussed with the Hack Humanity group the possibility of building an algorithm of probability of refugee applications approval.

Refugee Immigration Wizard App

The event brought food for thoughts for Migreat team who proudly presented an immigration wizard for refugees at the end of the night (above).

Outcome & the future of Techfugees
Serving as a platform to connect concerned individuals and organisations, the event successfully showed  how the UK tech community can collaborate and work towards solutions to what looks to be one of EU’s most pressing issues.

Techfugees hackathon group picture

The event enabled the creation of a crowd-sourced map of organisations, and connections between them. The hackpad is still being updated with new events everyday since the event earlier this month and has started an online exchange of information between people building similar projects at the European level.

One of the essential goal of the Techfugees, says Mike Butcher is to build a “Minimum Viable Product” which in the language of the tech community means to see working prototypes and solutions emerging in the next months. For our part, Migreat is looking forward to launching our refugee immigration wizard 🙂

French Startup Visa: 1,400 Foreign Entrepreneurs knocking on the doors of Paris

1,372 people from across the globe have expressed a wish to start an innovative company in Paris, France this year through the French Government new Startup Visa Programme, the French Tech Ticket.

Launched this May, the French Startup Visa is for non-French entrepreneurs who have an idea for creating or expanding a startup. During the call for proposals, which ended on 15 September, 722 startup projects were submitted, for a total of 1,372 applicants and 5,677 expressions of interest from over 90 countries.

A Frank Success
The numbers outspace by far the number of applicants to most European equivalent of Startup Visa programmes. Migreat Startup Visa report counted that on average, similar programs have received 20 to 100 of applications through their first years.

It is a definite confirmation for Axelle Lemaire, Minister of State for Digital Affairs, that France has grown a strong “international appeal” she says and “for this fantastic startup momentum to continue” she adds “we now need to work with entrepreneurs from around the world and (…) later [expand the French Startup Visa programme] to other French Tech Metropoles throughout France.”

Paris, growing hub for international startups
Buoyed by the success of forerunners such as Criteo, Withings, and Sigfox, the recent news of $200 raised by Blablacar, the acquisition of Leetchi, the plans for Deezer to go public, and with the support of the French government, which launched the French Tech initiative, French startup have reached cruising speed in recent years!

Paris is a world leader in the innovation economy: “Number one city in the world for innovation and intellectual capital” and “third most appealing city for foreign investment”.

Next
The fifty winners of the first edition of Paris French Tech Ticket will be announced in December. Starting in January 2016, they will be welcomed into a dozen support structures and partner incubators.

Upcoming stages in the selection process:
1- By the end of September: a pre-selection process will choose 500 eligible projects, in order of submission
2- October: the 500 projects will be reviewed by a panel of experts. Seventy of them will be selected, and Skype interviews with the applicants will take place between 2 and 6 November
3- End of November: following the interview phase, the list of finalists and runners-up will be
4- January 2016: the 50 winning French Tech Ticket entrepreneurs will arrive in Paris

A new call for proposals will be launched early in 2016.

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Interested in Startup Visa Schemes? Download Migreat Report on Startup Visas programmes or read our latest blog post on the countries accepting entrepreneurs in 2015.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa refused: 4 common mistakes to avoid

Applying to the UK Entrepreneur Visa? Migreat partner Josh Henderson from Enterprise Brokers tells us more about the four common errors foreign entrepreneurs to the UK have made in the past that you want to avoid.

Since the beginning of its launch in 2008, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has been the main door for entrepreneurs from around the world to the UK.

The aim of this visa route has been to bolster the UK economy by encouraging the very best from across globe to join in the UK’s rich and diverse markets.

In my view the scheme has been very successful both economically and culturally; however, in recent years the UK Home Office (HO) has witnessed abuse of the program. The previous Minster of immigration stated, “the entrepreneur route is now being targeted by applicants seeking to abuse the immigration rules” (Mark Harper, 2013)

This saw in an increase in applicant scrutiny and refusal as high as 50%  (Home Office, Immigration statistics quarterly release 2013).

Rejection of Entrepreneur Visas

With the Entrepreneur Visa refusal rate so high and scrutiny over abuse of the route, it is important for you to prepare the process in a well informed fashion. Here four tips to avoid a refusal for genuine entrepreneurs.

A solid business plan

As of 6th of April 2015 the initial visa application must be submitted with a business plan. This requirement is now mandatory and the secretary of state may take into account certain factors in assessing whether the applicant is a genuine entrepreneur. This includes checking the viability and credibility of an applicants business plan and market research in their chosen business sector (Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) of the Points Based System Policy Guidance 06 April 2015).

Due to past abuse the HO is taking a deeper look into business plan to assess if the applicant is genuine or not. If the plan was copied from other sources such as the Internet, it can be detected by a software used by the HO.

A consistent immigration history 

The UK Border Agency may call the applicant and question them on their immigration history. I myself experienced the HO investigating the intent of applicants when we had a father & son applying for an Entrepreneur Visa to open up a fast food restaurant in Leicester. After speaking with the immigration consultants in the country of origin, we found out the team had been refused an entry late 2014 due to the failure of the genuine entrepreneur test. The primary reason they were refused was that their stories did not match up whilst being interviewed.  There are future implications for applicants who provide wrong information to the HO as the assessment of any new application will take into consideration their immigration history.

Don’t mistake Investment and Maintenance funds

The Home office needs to see evidence that applicants can support themselves (and dependants) in the UK whilst starting/investing in a business. Its important to point out that the investment funds are solely for the business i.e. the £200,000 required is not to be used as maintenance. This is a common mistake for many applicants who have not consulted an immigration expert. Applicant s must have access to maintenance funds of £3,310 (applications made outside the UK) and £945 (made in the UK) for the past 90 days prior to applying.

Credible Source of Funds

If the applicantsinvestment capital has been in their bank account for less then 90 days when applying, the HO may ask for source of funds. Applicants must be able to show evidence of how and where they attained the capital. If the applicants cannot show sufficient evidence, they may be refused as the funds may have come from illegitimate sources.

What these points have shown is that preparation is key. Please be aware there are stringent rules with entering UK and you must know your business inside and out.

Want to know more?

Join Migreat Immigration Webinar on how to successfully apply to the UK Entrepreneur visa – Wednesday 25th November 2015 – 3pm London Time. Register now.

If you’re a global entrepreneur looking to start or join an existing company in the UK, get in touch with migreat.com to be assisted in the process by the best expert and get automatic assessment if you may be eligible to the Entrepreneur visa online via Migreat visa finder tool

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This guest blog post is provided to you by Josh Henderson, CEO of Enterprise Brokers, a business matchmaking company for international entrepreneurs in the UK and partner of migreat.com

Start a business in the UK: Collider’s Four months program for global entrepreneurs

Collider, a London based startup accelerator, is looking to invest £150K into tech start-up teams building marketing or advertising technology. Applications to the program are open until November 10th online to anyone – Collider is part of UKTI’s endorsed bodies to grant a fast-tracked Entrepreneur visa to foreign applicants.

What is Collider?

The four months program offers 10 selected start-ups with £50k in cash for 11% equity in return, and charge £10k for the Collision phase programme – four months of brand interactions, intensive one-on-one coaching, workshops and support from the likes of Taylor Wessing and KPMG. Collider startups get face to face with leading global brands like Unilever, Diageo and the BBC.

After the four months Collider invest a further £100k cash for 11% equity in five of the ten start-ups, as decided by their investors immediately and paid into accounts within 24hrs. Collider charges £10k for a further 8 months’ support including monthly board meetings, fundraising work etc.

What is Collider looking for?

Collider is looking for teams of two people at least and willing to travel to London on a weekly basis. If you are applying from abroad, Migreat has officially partnered with Collider to provide support and assistance to its successful applicants to apply to UK’s Entrepreneur visa.

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Find more information about who Collider is looking for on their website. Find out more if you are eligible to the UK Entrepreneur visa using Migreat visa tool.

Italy Startup Visa: A resident permit for innovative entrepreneurs and startups

Italy created and launched a groundbreaking Italian Startup Visa last June 2014. Read more information below to be eligible and apply to the Italian Startup visa.

Italy Startup Visa

Italy has long offered resident permits to entrepreneurs to Italy and this time decided to concentrate efforts on offering innovative entrepreneurs a new and better process to start a company in the country.

The Italian startup visa allows non EU citizens to come to Italy to start innovative business ventures and benefit of certain advantages in taxes and investment.

Eligibility

To be eligible, applicants must present an innovative business idea that will be evaluated by a specific committee, along showing evidence of a minimum of €50,000 in start-up funds.

There are two routes to apply for the visa,

1.  a direct startup visa application or;

2. a visa application through a licensed incubator.

Both routes offer the entrepreneur a priority application and certain benefits in Italy.

Procedure

The Ministry of Economic Development and Ministry of Foreign Affairs communicated that the special startup visa will be granted in about 30 days; and the procedure can be quicker if the applicant already has a been accepted within a certified incubator.

Map of Italian startup incubators granting the visa
Map of Italian startup incubators granting the visa

With this Startup visa, Italy wants to further develop its startup ecosystem to support innovative entrepreneurs and to open doors to innovative and global entrepreneurs. Especially, the geographical position of Italy made the initiative a unique opportunity in the region to create and connect with the wider innovative and startup ecosystem developing around the Mediterranean sea.

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Interested in the #Startup visa scheme? Ask Migreat immigration expert for more information and guidance.

5 benefits of starting a business in the UK under the Tier 1 Graduate and Entrepreneur visas

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and Graduate Entrepreneur Visa are making it easier to start a business and live in the UK.  While the UK benefits from your entrepreneurial activities creating employment and providing economic stimulus, you also stand to benefit.

Below we asked our partners Gherson solicitors to list the 5 key benefits of starting a business in the UK under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa routes. If you are looking for more information on eligibility and funding requirements, Migreat blog and website has covered the topic in many of its blog posts in the past. Just follow our entrepreneur visa category or ask directly our immigration experts online on migreat.com 🙂

1.    UK residency

The Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur visas allow you to live and work anywhere within the UK for the duration of the visa.

As long as your business is successful, it’s quite easy to have your visa extended or transfer from your Graduate Entrepreneur visa to the Entrepreneur visa .

You can apply for permanent residency within 5 years but if your yearly turnover exceeds £5 million or you employ at least 10 people, permanent residency can be achieved in only 3 years.

UK visa assistance - Migreat.com

2.    Bring your family

Both the Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur visas allow you to keep your family together. You can bring your spouse and any children under the age of 18 with you to the UK.

3.    Education and Healthcare

Under both of these visas, your children have access to the UK educational system and your family has access to the UK’s NHS free healthcare system.

4.    Favourable economic conditions

After a period of generally disappointing growth in 2011 and 2012, the UK economy has shown clear signs of recovery during 2013 which is expected to continue in 2014-15.

The good news is that this is spread between all major industry sectors and regions which are all now showing positive growth trends.

UK work visas assistance by Migreat.com
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

5.    Favourable political conditions

The attitude of the UK government is clear:

“The UK remains open to the brightest and best – genuine entrepreneurs with the ideas and motivation to drive economic growth will always be welcome in the UK.”It’s also widely accepted by academics, industry leaders and policy makers including David Cameron that:

It’s also widely accepted by academics, industry leaders and policy makers including David Cameron that:

“the future of [the UK] economy depends on a new generation of entrepreneurs coming up with ideas”.

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For more information on the differences between the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas, you can check our experts’ tips in a previous post.

If you have any questions or issues regarding applying for the UK Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur visas, you ask our experts online on migreat.com or listen to our podcast below on the topic of entrepreneurial visa to the UK.

This guest blog post was produced by Gherson, an award-winning, leading independent London law firm specialising in UK immigration. Contact Gherson solicitors and ask for professional assistance on visa & immigration on migreat.com

Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur Visas: which should you choose?

If you are a recent UK graduate, the UK entrepreneur visa and graduate entrepreneur visa are two attractive solutions to stay and start your business in the UK. But which one to pick? Here below, Migreat partners at Gherson compare the benefits of both visas.

Who is it for? 

The Entrepreneur visa is for non-EU nationals who genuinely want to establish, join or takeover one or more businesses in the UK while the Graduate Entrepreneur visa is for UK graduates who have been identified by higher education institutions and UK Trade and Investment as having developed genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills who wish  to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK.

Uk visa assistance online by Migreat.com

Who is not eligible to apply for the Graduate Entrepreneur visa?

If you have previously stayed in the UK on any of the following visas or schemes you are not eligible to apply to the Graduate Entrepreneur visa:

  •      Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa
  •      Fresh Talent
  •      International Graduates Scheme
  •      Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme

What are the main differences between applying for a UK Entrepreneur and a UK Graduate Entrepreneur visa?

While for both visas you will need to demonstrate that you have a genuine business plan with supporting evidence, outlined below are the major differences between applying to each of them.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 14.41.45

Expert Tip: You may be able to switch into the UK Entrepreneur visa at the end of your 2 years as a Graduate Entrepreneur if your business is successful.

Why would you choose the graduate entrepreneur route over the entrepreneur route?

The Graduate Entrepreneur visa allows you to start your business without meeting the hefty financial requirements of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. To renew either visa, or to swap from the Graduate Entrepreneur visa to Entrepreneur visa, all you need to do is prove that your business is running successfully rather than raising large sums of money.

Is the UK the ‘land of opportunity’ for entrepreneurs?

Starting up a business in the UK gives global entrepreneurs access to some very favourable conditions for conducting business, including:

  •      A domestic market of 62 million
  •      500 million customers in Europe
  •      These consumers tend to be early adopters of technology and also have high disposable incomes.
  •      A favourable geographical position for trading globally across time zones
  •      A favourable political environment for conducting business

UK Work and Business Visas by Migreat.com
“the future of [the UK] economy depends on a new generation of entrepreneurs coming up with ideas” – David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
Although the stringent tests required to evidence entrepreneurial visas may discourage some potential entrepreneurs from coming to the UK, the attitude of the UK government is clear: “The UK remains open to the brightest and best – genuine entrepreneurs with the ideas and motivation to drive economic growth will always be welcome in the UK.”

For more information on the implications of current immigrations rules on the flow of international entrepreneurs to the UK, you can read Migreat’s report“A UK Immigration System open to Innovation and Promising Entrepreneurs?” that was published earlier this year.

Check if you are eligible to the Entrepreneur or Graduate Entrepreneur visa, using Migreat.com Visa finder.

This guest blog post was produced by Gherson, an award-winning, leading independent London law firm specialising in UK immigration.

New Report From Migreat.com Gives Guidance for Entrepreneurs on How to Navigate the Complexity of the UK Immigration System

Download the full report on the Migreat platform.

In an attempt to attract the world’s entrepreneurial crème de la crème, specific visa routes for entrepreneurs and startups are spreading globally. In the UK, the idea of such a visa has gained momentum due to the growth of an exciting startup scene in London which provided policymakers with a global stage to promote the UK to foreign entrepreneurs as the leading hub for innovation and business creation.

Entrepreneurs in a hurry
Foreign Entrepreneurs can’t wait for a fast-track visa process

In this context, and in light of the growing complexity and tightening of immigration rules in the UK, Migreat launches today an independent report documenting the experience of entrepreneurs applying to the UK Entrepreneur Visa. The reality of the process behind the rules and how it compares to similar Entrepreneur Visa schemes worldwide.

Entitled A UK Immigration System Open to Innovation and Promising Entrepreneurs?, the year long research highlights the common pitfalls and administrative challenges associated with the visa application process.

The report explains how the growing demand for the visa has resulted in tougher rules and checks being implemented. In particular, it describes how this growing administrative rigidity has caused some talented entrepreneurs to fail the application. Hence, in the report, Migreat highlights four main common causes of rejection and suggest four simple measures that can be taken to avoid them:

Where entrepreneurs applying to the UK Entrepreneur Visa are from
Where entrepreneurs applying to the UK Entrepreneur Visa are from

Migreat’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Josephine Goube, presenting today the report said: The UK Government was a bold pioneer when it created a specific visa to ease the immigration of Entrepreneurs back in 2008. Unfortunately, in our research we found that in reality, the visa filters out exceptional international talents such as Seedcamp winners and entrepreneurs that raised more than £1m start-up capital. As such, the report is here to offer a space for foreign entrepreneurs to voice their concerns and help each other as well as to contribute to feed the discussion for policy makers on how to keep the UK attractive to global entrepreneurs.

Through this report, Migreat shows how the immigration administrative system can sometimes be inadequate with the reality and dynamics of promising entrepreneurial businesses. It also demonstrates that access to expert information and assistance is key and essential for any genuine entrepreneur to successfully apply.

Press Coverage of the launch of Migreat's Report
Press Coverage of the launch of Migreat’s Report

The report findings were reported in the press by the Huffington PostManagement Today and Tech City among many other publications: Immigration and Visa solicitors, Startup Visa Blog, Business Zone, Inagist, Relocate Magazine, Elite Business magazine, LexLawLegal, Hurriyet, National Headlines, UK Asian Online and News Tech World.

The report is available online on Migreat platform, if you are an entrepreneur applying to the visa, you can find free support on www.migreat.com to all your questions and connect online with immigration experts.

 

Links

The full report A UK Immigration System Open to Innovation and Promising Entrepreneurs?’ can be downloaded on the Migreat platform

Data

For more data on Entrepreneur Visa issued in 2013, see our blog post

https://blog.migreat.com/2014/02/19/statistics-on-uk-migrant-entrepreneurs-in-2013/

The Fast-Track UK Visa option for Talented Individuals working in the Digital Economy

The famous roundabout of the tech cluster in East London at night
The famous roundabout of the tech cluster in East London at night

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the extension of the exceptional talent visa route for highly skilled foreigners working in Digital wanting to work and stay in the UK in December 2013.

Since April 2014, talented foreigners can apply to the Exceptional Talent visa route. The application is first put forward to Tech City, a government-backed body that promotes technology companies across London – and then is sent to the Home Office if successful (learn more about the application process from Migreat Partner’s blog post). To apply it requires to show outstanding skills & achievements in the field of digital and tech. It is a powerful visa to have as it does not need a sponsor employer and grants three years and four months in the UK that can be renewed.

200 visas are available annually. So far, 9 have been issued as of April 2015. Sam Shead, journalist at Tech World interviewed one of the nine migrant, an Indian IT Specialist, that received the visa this year. It provides a better picture of what a successful candidate looks like.

Migreat is looking forward to help all of you who are thinking of applying to the visa via its free visa tool online. For any questions, ask our visa experts online .