Tier 1 Investor Visa suspended
The UK Immigration minister, in a surprising move, has suspended the Tier 1 Investor visa. From 7 December 2018, it will no longer be possible for applicants to apply under this route. New rules will be put in place sometime during 2019.
The Tier 1 Investor visa is a “golden visa” that allows super rich applicants to settle in the UK through investment. The decision to suspend the Tier 1 Immigration route was part of a crackdown on money laundering in the UK.
The Immigration Minister in the UK, Caroline Nokes said in the announcement on the suspension of this route that the UK will always be open to legitimate and genuine investors who are committed to helping the UK economy and businesses grow. She said that the UK Government will not tolerate persons who do not play by the rules and abuse the system.
The UK Government hope that by implementing new measures, only genuine investors, who intend to support UK businesses will benefit.
The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) has since informed organisations that they have received notice from the Home Office that there was no suspension of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa yet. The Home Office could not say if or when any suspension wold happen.
The New Tier 1 Investor Immigration route
There is no information available on when the new rules for the Tier 1 Investor visa will be announced.
All that we know is that the new requirements will require applicants to provide comprehensive audits of their financial and business interests. These measures will aim to prevent money laundering in the UK. Applicants will also have to show that they have control of the investment funds. Applicants will also no longer be able to invest in government bonds and have to invest in active and trading UK companies.
As soon as we receive new information, we will inform clients.
The alternative to the Tier 1 Investor Visa
Fortunately, until the Tier 1 Investor visa with its new rules open, there is an alternative for investors in the form of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. The entrepreneur route allows an applicant and his/her family members to obtain Entry Clearance (EC) as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant.
The applicant will need to be able to demonstrate that they have access to no less than £200,000. This funds must be held within one or more regulated financial institutions and is disposable in the UK. It is also possible to form an Entrepreneurial team.
We advise clients who want to apply for the alternative Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, to do so without delay. We strongly suspect that the UK Home Office might also suspend this route.
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