23 Mar 2017, 00 mins ago
Widely anticipated changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) route were finally announced in the written ministerial statement and statement of changes in the immigration rules laid before parliament today. The main changes are:
  • The threshold for minimum investment under this route is being raised from £1 to £2 million following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee earlier this year.
  • Further change is that the investors will also have to invest the entire amount in the specified investments in the UK, e.g. UK government bonds, shares in the active and trading companies. Currently the investors are only required to invest 75% of the funds.
  • Also the “topping up” requirement is being removed where the market value of the investments drops. Note that this does not apply where an investment matures or is sold- this must still be re-invested.
  • The loan route category where the investment funds are sourced by way of a loan from a UK financial institution is being entirely removed.
  • Home Office officials are being given the power to refuse an application if they have reasonable grounds to believe the funds were obtained unlawfully or if they have concerns about the character and conduct of the party providing the funds.
The current £5million and £10million accelerated routes will remain in place.
The changes will take effect on 6 November 2014. Any investor, who applies to enter the route before this date will be able to do so under the current rules, i.e. by demonstrating the funds of a minimum of £1 million and having to “top up” where required.
It was further announced that the government will launch consultation as to what sort of investments the investor route should encourage in order “to deliver real economic benefits” to the UK, and therefore, it seems, there are more changes to come in the not so distant future but it remains to be seen how else, dramatically or not, the route will be changed.
Alina Fosh
17 October 2014