A Sheffield-based Malaysian businessman who was threatened with deportation has been told by the Home Office he can stay in the UK.
In June, 27-year-old entrepreneur Will Chew was given two weeks to leave the country after his application to stay was turned down on a technicality.
This meant he would have to close his authentic Malaysian chilli paste business Mak Tok and make seven people redundant, as he would not be able to run the firm from his native country.
However, after re-submitting his application, Will was last week given the news he can stay, and he can now look forward to remaining in the UK to continue building his dream.
He said: “I am over the moon. It means that I can move things forward with the business and there will be no more sitting around feeling anxious about what is going to happen to me.”
Will’s application was originally turned down as he only had £46,000 in his personal account, leaving him £4,000 short of the £50,000 the Home Office require.
However, he had more than enough in his other accounts to make up the difference, but those making the decision said that cash could not be counted.
Now, after getting advice from Sheffield based solicitors’ Carter Thomas, he has re-submitted his entire application with far more supporting evidence - and this time they said ‘yes’.
Will has now been granted a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa, meaning he can stay in the UK for three more years, at which time he must apply to the Home Office again.
Sadly, he was unable to do any work on the business since getting his bad news in June, and the firm also had to lose one member of staff as Will dipped into his savings just to survive.
But when he told his remaining six employees the news, they were as elated as he was.
“They were so happy when we received the news,” he said.
“The whole office was like ‘oh my god’, we were jumping around.”
Will said Mak Tok can now look forward to a bright future, and he already has plans for shows at Christmas and a ‘supper club’ in the New Year.
He said they are also hoping to access more money from investors next year so he can grow his fledgling business further.