All posts by Sohrab Vazir

Innovator Founder Visa Changing?

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Many wonder whether the current Innovator Founder Visa policy will change under the new Labour government in the UK. This is a question that only time will answer. However, I will outline some areas where change ought to be made. These proposed changes will ensure that the Innovator Founder Visa policy is robust and creates an attractive entrepreneurial ecosystem for international entrepreneurs.  None of the content in this article, website or my services constitute immigration advice or services. For immigration assistance, please refer to a regulated solicitor or immigration advisor. Before I highlight the potential areas of change to the Innovator Founder Visa regime, let me briefly describe this visa.  I previously wrote an article and made a video on the flaws of the Innovator Founder visa policy, which you can read here.  What is the Innovator Founder Visa?  The Innovator Founder Visa is an immigration pathway designed for international entrepreneurs who may wish to set up an innovative business in the UK.  Please refer to the UK Government website for full information about this visa.  How should the Innovator Founder Visa policy change? There are several areas in which the Innovator Founder policy ought to change.  An overview of the changes that I deem to be beneficial are: Let’s look at each one in more detail: Innovation One of the common issues I have observed since the launch of this visa is the innovation requirement and its interpretation.  The “issue” with this requirement is that no specific factor determines innovation. For instance, patentability / Intellectual Property (IP), and no trade marks do not fall under this category. However, the problem with setting this as an absolute requirement is that many businesses, despite being innovative, cannot obtain patents. Thus, this would exclude a considerable number of founders and their businesses.  Although this is a common problem, there is no clear fix either.  Currently, determining innovation is subjective and up to each Endorsing Body to determine.  Visa Fees This is sadly a problem that many founders are unhappy about.  There are several costs associated with this visa, which are: With the first cost, the Endorsing Bodies have to charge applicants as this fee enables them to sustain their operations. However, the visa processing fee, payable to the UK government can be lowered. This is especially true when looking at other countries such as the Netherlands, where a similar visa costs around €380, in contrast to £1,191 for this visa. However, it is important to state that the Dutch self-employment visa only lasts for one year and has to be renewed.  Nevertheless, given the lower number of applicants for the Innovator Founder Visa, in contrast to other visa routes such as the Skilled Worker pathway, it is sensible to consider lowering this fee.  The Endorsing Bodies Firstly, allow me to clarify that this is not to criticise the current Endorsing Bodies. However, I believe that a higher number of Endorsing Bodies means more options for founders and additional sector-specific expertise.  However, a potential issue that may arise from increasing the number of Endorsing Bodies is a potential conflict of interest between them.  But looking at other countries such as Canada, we notice that applicants have more choices when it comes to third-party approval. With Canada in particular, founders have the option to either raise investment from VCs, or angel investors or enrol in incubation programs (but they do come with a cost).  These are some of the areas in which the Innovator Founder visa policy may be reviewed and potentially changed.  I have made a video on this topic as well, which you can view below: f you require business assistance as an international founder, have a look at my services designed for founders wishing to set up a business in the UK here.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.

Why every international entrepreneur should work with a business consultant?

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You are an international entrepreneur and want to start a business abroad. You may dread the various legal, commercial and perhaps cultural challenges ahead of you. Obtaining a visa, albeit a significant milestone, is only your first hurdle. I know how this situation feels as I have been in your shoes.  I became an international entrepreneur in the UK following the competition of my master’s degree at Newcastle University. At the time, I identified a gap in the student housing market, which resulted in conceptualising and founding my former venture, StudyFlats.  Within 4 years, I grew StudyFlats to 30+ UK cities, a team of four and we almost closed our first funding round until the lovely events of 2020 squashed the entire company (yes, painful). Nevertheless, I still obtained my Settlement/Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, also known as permanent residency. Throughout this entire time, I was fortunate to have friends and a powerful network to help me overcome some of the challenges facing every international entrepreneur. This was especially the case as I started StudyFlats with less than £500 and proofread students’ assignments in the first year to support myself and my business.  However, not every international entrepreneur may have the network that I had. Moreover, I still had to make a lot of mistakes and go through extreme financial and mental pressure to grow my business. Yet, I could not identify a business consultant who specialised in working with overseas entrepreneurs (and decided to be the first one myself by the end of 2022). Let me tell you a little truth: as an international entrepreneur, you are at a disadvantage. You are taking risks and are also investing your key resources, time and money. If it fails, you are the only one losing.  Risk is a core part of entrepreneurship, regardless of what type of entrepreneur you are. However, the risk is even greater when you are an entrepreneur and also have to comply with immigration rules and milestones.  And this is one of the reasons why every international entrepreneur should work with a business consultant.  Working with a consultant such as myself will help you in the following ways: Minimising risk  My first advice to any entrepreneur is to have a thorough understanding of the market in which they seek to operate.  This requires: Many international entrepreneurs lack one or both of the above, and it often results in disaster.  The right business consultant will help you minimise risk as they possess both of the above factors.  Cultural gap  In life, and especially in business, everything boils down to relationships.  You may neglect this factor. However, if you fail to communicate with your stakeholders the right way, you are destined to fail.  The way business is conducted differs in each country. You may be a skilled entrepreneur, yet lack the cultural grasp of doing business in a country other than yours. Business consultants who work with international entrepreneurs (at least the right ones) will comprehend the importance of this point. Additionally, they will be able to help you successfully navigate the cultural landscape.  Commercial expertise  Entrepreneurship is a game of unlimited challenges. You fix one aspect, and the other crumbles. This is a brutal reality that you must accept.  Additionally, various considerations must be taken into account. Let’s look at a few: By working with a business consultant, you will delegate some of these to them. This is not only sensible from a business perspective, but also essential for you to be able to overcome the personal and professional challenges that you will have to face.  These are some of the reasons why every international entrepreneur should work with a business consultant.  If you are an international entrepreneur and want to work with a consultant, get in touch with me today. I am the UK’s first and #1 independent business consultant who has been through the immigration journey himself.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.

Start a business, but not for the wrong reasons

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If you are planning to start a business, it is important to understand “why” you are doing so. Each venture has its own “why” and mission. However, some reasons are the wrong ones to begin with, and I will talk about 3 of them in this piece  The motivation to start a business vary for each founder or founding team. You may be seeking to offer an innovation, improve an existing process, or fill an existing market gap.  However, as a consultant, I have noticed a new wave of “aspiring” business owners who are seeking to become entrepreneurs. Yet, their reasons for doing so are shallow and lack a valid commercial basis.  Some of the common themes among these wrong reasons are: 1. Not wanting to have a boss  The mindset of starting a business so you can not have a boss to answer to is a dangerous one.  You are indeed in charge of everything and there is not a superior that you have to be accountable to.  Nevertheless, I learnt that even as a business owner, your customers and other stakeholders are your boss. These are parties that you must keep happy and be accountable to.  Thus, the idea that by being a business owner you will forfeit accountability is incorrect.  2. Getting rich quickly I am not denying that businesses are commercial entities. Hence, making money is the primary motive.  However, entrepreneurship should not be viewed as the gateway to getting rich quickly. This is unlikely to happen rapidly in the case of most businesses and it will take time, risk, resources and patience.  If you are unwilling to invest the abovementioned into starting a business and are looking to make a quick buck, you may be in for disappointment.  3. Ego and vanity Lastly, if starting a business is a tool to stroke your ego and “show off”, you are in for the wrong reason. My philosophy is that the first step towards starting a business is to drop your ego and adopt the mindset that you know nothing.  These are 3 common wrong reasons for starting a business. Before doing so, make sure that you have a clear “why” and emphasise the commercial context of starting a business.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I now help other entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses, and mainly with obtaining endorsements from the endorsing bodies.

Startup funding: a simple guide

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Navigating the world of startup funding can be a daunting task for founders. Securing the right type of cash injection at the right time is crucial for your startup. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the various stages of startup funding, the types of funding available, and best practices to attract investors. What is Startup Funding? Startup funding refers to the money that entrepreneurs raise to launch and grow their new business ventures. This funding can come from various sources, each with its own benefits and requirements. The primary goal is to secure enough capital to cover initial costs, sustain operations, and scale the business until it becomes profitable. Stages of Startup Funding 1. Pre-Seed Funding Pre-seed funding is the earliest stage of funding, often coming from the founders themselves, friends, family, or small angel investors. This stage focuses on developing the initial business idea, market research, and creating a minimum viable product (MVP). 2. Seed Funding Seed funding is the first official equity funding stage. It helps startups conduct product development, market research, and business model validation. 3. Series A Funding Series A funding focuses on scaling the product and user base. Startups use this funding to optimize their product offerings, expand the team, and enter new markets. 4. Series B Funding Series B funding is used for scaling operations, including expanding the market reach, hiring additional team members, and improving technology. 5. Series C Funding and Beyond Series C funding and subsequent rounds are aimed at scaling the business rapidly, developing new products, entering international markets, or preparing for an acquisition or IPO. Types of Startup Funding 1. Bootstrapping Bootstrapping involves funding the startup using personal savings or revenue from the business. It allows founders to retain full control and ownership but can limit growth due to limited capital. 2. Angel Investors Angel investors are high-net-worth individuals who invest their personal funds in startups in exchange for equity. They often provide mentorship and valuable industry connections. 3. Venture Capital (VC) Venture capital firms invest in startups with high growth potential in exchange for equity. They typically get involved in later stages (Series A and beyond) and provide significant funding along with strategic guidance. 4. Crowdfunding Crowdfunding involves raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via online platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. It’s an excellent way to validate market interest and gain early customers. 5. Grants and Competitions Grants and competitions offer non-dilutive funding, meaning you don’t have to give up equity. These are often provided by government programs, non-profits, or industry competitions. 6. Bank Loans Bank loans are traditional funding methods where startups borrow money and repay it with interest. This option does not require giving up equity but does require a solid business plan and creditworthiness. Best Practices to Attract Investors 1. Develop a Solid Business Plan Investors need to see a well-thought-out business plan that outlines your vision, market analysis, revenue model, and growth strategy. Ensure your plan highlights the potential return on investment. 2. Build a Strong Team A talented and dedicated team is crucial for success. Investors are more likely to fund a startup with a strong leadership team that has relevant experience and a proven track record. 3. Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Developing an MVP demonstrates your ability to execute your idea and provides a tangible product for investors to evaluate. It also helps validate your business concept in the market. 4. Network and Build Relationships Attend industry events, join startup incubators, and use online platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential investors. Building relationships can lead to valuable introductions and funding opportunities. 5. Show Traction Demonstrate market demand and your startup’s potential by showing early sales, user growth, or partnerships. Traction proves that there is a viable market for your product or service. Conclusion Understanding how startup funding works is essential for any entrepreneur looking to turn their business idea into a successful company. By familiarizing yourself with the various stages and types of funding, and following best practices to attract investors, you can secure the capital needed to launch and grow your startup. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I now help other entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses, and mainly with obtaining endorsements from the endorsing bodies.

Innovator Founder Visa: Pros & Cons

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The UK’s Innovator Founder visa was launched in 2023 as a pathway for foreign entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the UK. The visa and its requirements have substantially changed from its predecessor, the Innovator visa and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme   If you are considering the UK’s Innovator Founder visa, then it is sensible to make a full evaluation. As a former migrant entrepreneur and business consultant working with people navigating the business immigration journey, I will seek to highlight the pros and cons of this visa.  Innovator Founder Visa Pros  Suitable for scalable businesses  The Innovator Founder visa requirements emphasize scalability. As such, if your business is scalable, or is already at traction stage, then this visa may be suitable.  Pathway to permanent residence & UK citizenship This visa offers two pathways for settlement (permanent residence) in the UK: three years or five years.   In comparison to other countries such as the UAE, this may be a desirable aspect for some.   The UK’s global position The UK is among the easiest countries in the world to start a business in.   Although due to recent legislation by the Companies House, there are now additional requirements and compliance protocols for setting up a company in the UK.   The multicultural landscape of the UK, as well as English being the spoken language may be an advantage to some international entrepreneurs.   Secondary employment The current Innovator Founder visa permits paid employment alongside the applicant’s business. This may be a beneficial option for some international founders. Innovator Founder Visa Cons  Strict business & endorsement requirements The selection process for the Innovator Founder visa which is through an endorsement from one of the four designated Endorsing Bodies is strict.   There are several requirements that your business must meet, as well as the founder/founding team meeting a certain skills level.   Less Endorsing Bodies There are now only 4 endorsing bodies in contrast to 65 under the previous Innovator visa pathway. This leaves applicants with less choice and a lower margin of error.   Personally, I support the view that a larger selection of Endorsing Bodies will facilitate additional sector-specific expertise.   May be expensive for some There are several costs involved, and these exclude any additional help from third parties such as a business consultant (me) or an immigration advisor/solicitor.   Minimum budget required: £5000 to £10,000 (this does not include the funds for your business). The initial costs are: Endorsement: £1200 Visa Application Fee: £1,191 (outside the UK) or £1486 (inside the UK) NHS Health Surcharge: ££1,035 per year To help my clients/ Innovator Founder visa applicants, I offer an idea assessment service. This will involve assessing your idea and the provision of expert feedback to reduce the chances of your endorsement being rejected.   Economic uncertainty Global events such as the 2008 Financial Crisis, Brexit and COVID-19 have left a painful mark on the UK’s economy.   This is evident in several contexts such as the Cost-of-Living Crisis.  Additionally, with the 2025 General Election coming up, it is reasonable to expect dramatic policy shifts, indicating economic uncertainty. These are some of the pros and cons of the Innovator Founder visa. Need help with the Innovator Founder visa endorsement? Check out my services, designed specifically for founders like you. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses. Disclaimer: none of the content in this article or my services constitutes immigration advice or services.

Innovator Founder Visa Rejection | 4 reasons

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The risk of an Innovator Founder visa rejection is on the rise. This is not a surprise as the new visa, in contrast to the former Innovator visa, now permits applicants to engage in paid employment. As such, this has led to increased interest and demand for the Innovator Founder visa.  Disclaimer: none of the content in this article or my services constitutes immigration advice or services. In addition to increased demand, the current Innovator Founder visa can only be endorsed by 4 Endorsing Bodies, a far smaller number than the previous visa. As a business consultant working with international entrepreneurs, I have come across Innovator Founder visa rejection cases that relate to the endorsement stage. Moreover, I have also actively monitored the Innovator Founder visa’s rejections. These are 3 common reasons why your Innovator Founder visa endorsement application may be rejected.  1. Your idea is not innovative   As you may be aware, there are 3 key factors that Endorsing Bodies assess when considering endorsement applications, which are: Let’s talk about the innovation aspect first. Technically speaking, your idea/business should: 2. Your business is not viable  Notice that I did not use the word “idea” in the heading above?  The “viability” aspect refers to “you”, the founder/founding team. The core requirement is whether you have the skills and competencies to start and scale the business or not. Thus, factors such as your professional experience or qualifications will be relevant.  3. Your idea is not scalable Put simply: what is the vision for your business? How far will it go? How much money will it make? You may have a unique concept and have the personal skills to launch the business, but how big will the business get? If your business cannot scale nationally or internationally, it may be one of the reasons for a rejection of your Innovator Founder visa endorsement. 4. You bought a bad Innovator Founder visa business plan  I write business plans for my clients (up to a limit, as they take a lot of time and I write each plan myself). Therefore, I am aware that many founders will seek the help of external parties for their business plan. Sadly, the market is now full of business plan writers who simply either use ChatGPT, or hire people with no experience in business to write a low-quality plan.  This is why I have introduced a service to coach and mentor founder to writer their own business plan. I understand that for some, it may be necessary to have somebody else communicate their business.  However, writing your own business plan will give you more confidence in presenting it, and it will also improve several skills such as writing and design. And do not worry, I will help you with ALL of that.  These are some common reasons behind an Innovator Founder Visa rejection at the endorsement stage. Remember, do not trust every company or person to be in charge of your business ideas and endorsement application, unless you can verify their credentials. Even then, you should make sure that you are aware of every aspect and stage of the business plan whilst it is written.  Need help with the Innovator Founder visa endorsement? Check out my services, designed specifically for founders like you. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.

How I started a tech startup with £500 & scaled it to 30+ UK cities

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Following the completion of my master’s degree, I founded a tech startup called StudyFlats. Within 3 years, I scaled this PropTech company to over 30 UK cities, with a client base in over 50 countries.  As a solo non-technical founder, the idea for StudyFlats seemed far-fetched at first. My business idea was first put to the test when I spoke to Newcastle University. I was an international student in the UK on a visa and therefore had to obtain the correct visa.  I pitched the idea to Newcastle University and managed to receive an endorsement for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa scheme. This was the former equivalent of the former Startup Visa in the UK.  The first year  The first year was one of the most difficult years of my life. I was a 22-year-old graduate, with a laptop and £500 in my bank account. Not to mention that I had no coding knowledge/background and thus could not create the website myself.  I was getting quotes upwards of £10,000 from agencies to create StudyFlats’ website. Needless to say, these were not an option and I was stuck.  At the same time, a very dear friend of mine from University, introduced me to a developer who agreed to complete the backend functionalities, whilst I learnt the other parts, especially SEO as I knew I’d heavily rely on it.  In the meantime, I was proofreading students’s assignments and dissertations to fund the business and my daily expenses (living in a single room with shared toilets that year was no fun at all).  The lesson that I learnt was: where there’s a will there’s a way. I had no option but to grow this company despite all the hurdles.  The second & third years year  In the second and third years, things began to improve.  By the second year, StudyFlats operated in 10 cities. However, this is also when a major competitor began scaling with £70m of funding! It is also worth noting that StudyFlats worked with contractors/freelancers during the second year. Hence, there was no “team” at this point and I essentially did everything that was needed.  However, I adopted 2 strategies that gained a unique competitive advantage for StudyFlats, which was integral to its growth. These were: By the end of 2019, we were a team of five, operated across 30+ UK cities, consulted 1000+ students from 50+ countries, and had investors approaching us themselves.  March 2020: goodbye And this is where the brutal reality hits: you can do everything right and things can still go south.  With the events of 2020, I was reluctant to maintain the company’s operations for that period as it seemed extremely unpredictable and possibly a recipe for liability.  Additionally, we needed cash to maintain the company’s operations, yet this was simply not possible as we paused our operations. By 2021, I considered relaunching the company’s operations. However, after considering several factors including the desire to do what I do now as a consultant, I made the very difficult decision that every founder resents. However, I see StudyFlats as a learning experience, the driver of my settlement in the UK and an opportunity that was missed due to factors outside my control. We live and learn, it is what it is.  Starting and scaling a (tech) startup is not for the faint-hearted. It involves pain, uncertainty, disappointment, rejection and loneliness. But in the end, it can all be worth it, as it was in my case.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses, and mainly with obtaining endorsements from the endorsing bodies.

Immigration Law Marketing | 3 Tips for Immigration Professionals & Firms

Immigration law marketing can be complex, given the common practice areas as well as the diverse audience range that it targets. In this article, I will share 3 tips that help immigration law marketers build solid marketing campaigns.  Immigration law, in contrast to certain other legal areas, changes on a rapid scale. This can be challenging for immigration professionals and lawyers within the compounds of their work, let alone their marketing.  In addition, the mere fact that there are thousands of firms advertising the same services for the same legal framework is a marketing challenge.  As an example, let’s consider the simple example below in the area of legal SEO: The UK launches a new visa stream (for example: “Startup Visa”). Shortly after, there are 1000s of firms seeking to dominate the Google search space for this specific keyword. Moreover, the audience that immigration law marketing targets are global, based overseas and culturally and linguistically diverse.  These are among the challenges that are unique to immigration law marketing. However, don’t despair. Implement the 3 tips below to ace your legal marketing.  1. Create unique content  Yes, generic. However, this is often neglected by immigration law marketers. Whilst it is essential to create content that is centred around the key visa themes, you must go beyond this.  By unique content, I am referring to content that is unique to a particular audience segment/niche. For example, your firm may primarily deal with asylum cases from clients in conflict-ridden countries.  You will then cater your content to: 2. Collaborate with other industry stakeholders  Migrants’ needs may go beyond legal assistance. As such, there are external companies and services designed for them.  Your firm can collaborate in areas such as content creation, PR, and communications with other relevant parties for mutually beneficial brand promotion.  3. Create (more) videos  Most agree that a real person behind a company is likely to build more trust than just written content.  Focus on creating videos incorporating the above tips and watching your leads grow. If you’re camera-shy, or simply cannot create videos for whatever reason, some tools will generate videos with people.  These 3 tips will help you improve your immigration law marketing campaigns.  Need help with legal marketing? I offer tailored marketing consulting and writing services for immigration law professionals.  About My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four prior to 2020. Currently, I specialize in early ventures, business immigration and online communications.

3 Red Flags in Job Applications

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Job applications these days are not for the faint-hearted. An oversupply of job applicants, shady recruitment practices and hostile immigration policies in the case of immigrant jobseekers are some examples of the challenges that applicants have to navigate.  There are certain red flags that you should never ignore in job applications. Job searching can be tricky, overwhelming and exhausting. The current job market dynamics, at least in the UK, are also not in the jobseeker’s favour. Securing a role can be difficult, and it takes time, and effort as well as facing rejections. However, there are certain times that a job applicant should not ignore certain red flags and potentially consider an alternative employer.  It’s important to understand that your career and time are integral to how your life turns out in the future. Additionally, you must also be aware of your rights as a job seeker and potential employee.  I have had the painful experience of the job market myself. Moreover, I hired a team of four for my startup, StudyFlats, back in 2019. To put it simply: I have reviewed thousands of CVs, as well as job postings.  During my days of browsing job applications, I was less experienced and therefore was not aware of these red flags. In this article, I’ll highlight 3 which are relatively common but sadly many applicants tend to ignore these which only indicates further problems down the line. 1. Asking for free work through assessments/tasks  I truly detest this practice of getting free work out of job applicants.  Yes, there may be certain careers where practical tasks are essential to candidate selection. However, in many roles such as digital marketing jobs, these are not only unnecessary but a potential misuse by employers.  Let’s consider this example: you apply for a copywriting job. The job asks you to write an article for them on a selected topic.  The employer then rejects you after this task. However, now they have a free sample of work from you that they can use themselves for their gain.  Instead, this employer could have looked at your previous work/writing portfolio, as well as qualifications.  Some suggest that you put a copyright notice on the work. Maybe, but what sort of impression and atmosphere does this create?  In the case of other roles, it could be your ideas that the employer is after. Thus, in reality, there is no way for you to legally protect your work. These are realities that you will only realise once you navigate the professional world for years.  2. Unclear selection process  This is another red flag to look out for in job applications. Having a clear candidate selection process, and clarifying this to job applicants early on is a good sign. On the other hand, if the selection process is vague, or changes on short notice, be wary. 3. Negative employer reviews Check out sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed to look for reviews by former job applicants or employees of the company that you are applying to. Of course, take negative reviews with a pinch of salt, especially if there are not too many.  However, a large number of negative reviews, especially if they highlight a specific problem is a red flag. These are 3 common red flags in job applications to be aware of when searching for roles. If you need help with your job search, check out my services for job seekers, students and graduates. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four internally.

UK Innovator Founder Visa Consulting Program

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If you’re interested in starting a business in the UK, then my Consulting Program is ideal for your business needs. As a former immigrant tech founder, I have settled in the UK myself through the business immigration journey.  Disclaimer | Nothing in this article, website or my services constitutes immigration and / or legal advice. I cannot advise or assist with your endorsement or visa application. All my services are solely intended to assist in planning, starting and scaling a business in the UK. This Innovator Founder Visa Consulting Program is designed with migrant founders in mind, as well as extensive business knowledge that I have gained as a tech founder scaling a business in the UK (leading to not just settling in the UK but also closing a major seed funding round). About me Okay so first things first, let me briefly introduce myself: my name is Sohrab. I’m originally from Iran, and grew up in between my native Tehran, Switzerland and subsequently the UK when I moved here alone at the age of 17. I was initially on a Student / Tier 4 (Child) visa, which I secured myself, until I finished my master’s degree at Newcastle University, who then endorsed me for the former Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Route, and ultimately I switched to the former Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme.  As I navigated through the UK’s business immigration schemes, I grew StudyFlats to a team of 5, with a property portfolio across 30+ UK cities & 10,000 student rooms. My work has also received recognitio from GBEA, as well as leading to my acceptance onto the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator (a former Innovator Visa endorsing body – although at this point I was close to settlement in the UK despite having the option for that visa too).  In short: I have lived and breathed the journey of being an immigrant entrepreneur in the UK.  (See my CV) UK Innovator Founder Visa  The UK’s Innovator Founder Visa is an immigration pathway for international entrepreneurs who wish to obtain residence in the UK through setting up a new business.  For full information about the visa itself, please refer to the UK Government’s website.  About the Innovator Founder Visa Advisory Program  I understand how expensive & stressful this entire process is for founders. Being an entrepreneur is difficult on its own, let alone when combined with its pursuit within the frame of immigration rules.   Sadly, many companies and services also offer extremely low-quality services in exchange for hefty fees (e.g. business plan writers). As such, I decided to  come up with a solution that: A) helps Innovator Founder Visa applicants keep their costs low & B) be cost-efficient for my business.  This UK Innovator Founder Visa Consulting Program helps founders: What the program covers? This 1:1 program is designed to help with all the business needs of founders, including idea assessment for the Innovator Founder Visa endorsement application.  Below are some examples of the areas that I cover in this program: As you may have noticed, I am not an immigration advisor or solicitor. My services are solely of a business nature.  The Innovator Founder pathway is a business visa. Meanwhile, business and visas are two completely separate domains. Immigration specialists are able to advise on immigration law, however, I assist in planning, starting & scaling a tech startup as a migrant founder (I cannot assist with or advise on any immigration applications, including endorsement). How it works & how much does it cost? The program consists of 5 one-to-one video calls between me and the founder(s).  The applicants have the choice to choose which particular area they’d prefer to focus on during these sessions.  The cost of the program is £400.  How to book? You can book and pay for your first session below. Once we have our first call, I will send you an invoice for the remaining program fee.

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