UK Immigration: Brexit Implications for Tier 1 Investors

Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, current and future UK investors rare concerned about the impact of Brexit on the future of the UK tier 1 Investor visa. This UK Points Based System visa is for high net worth migrants who wish to make a substantial financial investment in the UK.  This route is attractive due to the fact that applicants do not need to show evidence of maintenance nor demonstrate that they meet the English language requirements and allows migrants who make a substantial investment in the UK and their family members to obtain quicker settlement in the UK.

Tier 1 Investor Category – post November 2014

The immigration rules in respect of Tier 1 Investor visas, were significantly changed in November 2014. The previous rules stated:

investor visa applications approved before 6 November 2014: you will need to show that you:

  • have at least £1,000,000 under your control in the UK;
  • have invested at least £750,000 (or 75%) of that in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies;
  • invested this sum within 3 months of your ‘investor start date’.

Since November 2014, Tier 1 investor visas applicant need to demonstrate that they;

  • have at least £2,000,000 under your control in the UK;
  • have invested those funds in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies;
  • invested this sum within 3 months of your ‘investor start date’.

Investors may be able to include any dependants who are on their visas in an application to extend – including children who have turned 18 during their stay in the UK.

Given the fact that published Home Office figures for the year period ending June 2016 compared to the same period in 2015 revealed that the number of people applying for a UK Tier 1 investor visa have significantly decreased by about 78%. This is largely due to fewer grants following the changes introduced to the category in November 2014.

Our solicitors and various other practitioners form the view that since the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the possibility that the UK Government may begin Article 50 proceedings before March 2017, may serve as a further disincentive for future Tier 1 Investors to invest in the UK.

Impact of Brexit on Future Tier 1 Investor Visa Applications

Given the market volatility , Tier 1 investors need to be cautious about the value of their investments as failure to take appropriate steps could result in the refusal of any future applications for extension or settlement for their dependants.

For Investors looking to settle in the UK, the Tier 1 Investor visa still offers one of the most attractive routes to settlement in the UK as under the current scheme, the more investment the applicant makes into the UK economy, the sooner the applicant is able to obtain citizenship, ranging from two years at the earliest and five years at the latest.

Initially following the results of the EU referendum,  the UK’s economic future was uncertain and the effect of that meant that Tier 1 investors were unable to make a decision to enter the UK or existing investors to remove their investment from the UK.  However as we emerge from this initial aftermath, opinion among credible sources are beginning to shift towards a positive outlook for the UK economy. 

Therefore as future UK investment prospects and confidence in the market are building up again, it would be amiss not to call on investors to come to the UK or remain in the UK as it undergoes this transition period. The benefits for investing in the UK are likely to change because in the past the UK’s membership in Europe played a major part in the attraction. However many practitioners have formed the opinion that so long as the UK introduces other valuable and attractive benefits for investors, the UK will continue to remain an appealing place to invest in and ultimately settle for high net worth individuals.

Successful Tier 1 (Investor) Visa Applications

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers welcome Tier 1 investors and are pleased to see the extensive due diligence undertaken by the Home Office to enable Tier 1 visa investors to come to the UK.  Tier 1 investor applications and  the investment opportunities they provide for the UK are in complete harmony with the spirit of the Tier 1 category which is to boost the UK economy.

We are regularly instructed by Tier 1 (investors) and entrepreneurs and undertake a detailed review for  Applicants and will be able to guide you through the process of making a Tier 1 (investor) visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law.

We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a Tier 1 (investor) visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.

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