UK Immigration: Rise in Chinese Nationals Obtaining Tier 1 Investor Visas

Recently, Radius Equity revealed that the number of Chinese nationals applying for and obtaining Tier 1 Investor visas tripled in 2014. The Tier 1 Investor Visa category of the Points Based System is for open to those migrants who wish to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. It is established that more and more wealthy migrants are investing in the UK as a route to obtain settlement in the country.

Overseas Tier 1 Investors Continues to Grow

According to Radius Equity, a company that provides advice on investment opportunities in private companies in the UK, in 2014, 1,580 applicants for Tier 1  Investor visas were Chinese nationals. As mentioned above, this figure has tripled from the year before when the figure stood at 507.

Although there has been a rise in figures for the amount of Tier 1 Investor visas obtained, the director of Radius Equity, Gary Robins, has voiced his concerns that further changes to the UK Immigration Rules may affect the number of wealthy migrants investing in the UK and has encouraged individuals to make their visa applications sooner rather than later. Furthermore, Samuel Hu, head of overseas investors at Radius Equity, echoed Mr Robins sentiments, however focused on the importance of receiving the right immigration legal advice:

“The already high level of interest from overseas investors continues to grow. Most failed applications will have resulted from shortcomings in the preparation of application documents, or in proving the necessary financial qualifications have been met. This underlines the importance for applicants of getting access to the best advice.”

The success rate of Chinese nationals being granted Tier 1 Investor visas in 2014 is in the 80 percentile, however, this is actually a decrease from the 99% in 2013. This highlights Mr Hu’s point of the importance of Immigration legal advice to ensure a sufficiently executed application is submitted.

Changes to Tier 1 Investor Visa Route

The Tier 1 Investor visa route is attractive due to the fact that individuals do not need to show evidence of maintenance nor demonstrate that they meet the English language requirements. Furthermore, investors can apply for settlement in the UK if they have invested £10 million in 2 years or 5 million in 3 years. Alternatively, if you have been residing in the UK continuously for 5 years you may also be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. This route demonstrates the UK government’s desire to attract high net worth individuals to make substantial investments in the UK.

On 6 November 2014, the UK Immigration Rules implemented that applicants applying for a Tier 1 Investor visa must:

  • Have a minimum of £2 million to invest in the UK. The money must be your own and must be held in a regulated UK financial institution. The money must also be disposable in the UK; and
  • You must invest the full amount in prescribed forms such as share or loan capital in active and trading UK companies, or UK Government bonds.

 The following further changes were implemented to this visa route on 6 April 2015:

  • Individuals are required to ‘open a UK-regulated investment account’, before making their application.
  • The age requirement is being increased from 16 years old to 18 years old.
  • Applicants will no longer need to invest additional capital if they sell part of their investments at a loss, but they will be required to maintain all their capital within their investment portfolios.

Successful Tier 1 Investor Visa Applications

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a Tier 1 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 entrepreneur visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.

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