Business Immigration Update: Changes to the UK Investor Visa

This week, following the latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, we posted that the current Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur routes are to be replaced by the new Innovator and Start-up visas. However, that is not the only change to the Tier 1 visa routes mentioned in the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 1919, as there are also amendments to the UK Investor Visa category. Our business immigration team are highly experienced and qualified to advise you on all business related visa applications and the recent changes that are being made to the Rules, therefore high net worth individuals should contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and find out more.  

Business Immigration Update: What are the main changes to the UK Investor Visa?

High Net Worth individuals who wish to make an investment of at least £2 million in the UK can do so by applying for the Tier 1 Investor Visa. The biggest change to this visa route is in relation to growing concerns about money laundering and the source of the investment funds. At the end of last year, the UK Government temporarily suspended the UK Investor Visa route due to these concerns, and now the updates mentioned within the latest Statement of Changes go further to try and resolve these issues and doubts.

Under the current Immigration Rules for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, Applicants must provide evidence that they have held the investment funds for at least 90 days or, if they have not held them for 90 days, provide evidence of the source of those funds. This 90-day requirement is being extended to a 2-year requirement. Further, Applicants are currently required to open a UK bank account for the purpose of making their investment before making the UK Investor application. This requirement is being tightened to make explicit that banks must carry out all required due diligence checks and Know Your Customer enquiries, and confirm that these have been done.

Transitional arrangements are also being introduced to ensure the above changes do not have an adverse impact on investors who entered the category under the rules in place before 29 March 2019. These transitional arrangements will continue until 5 April 2023 for Tier 1 Investor Visa extension applications and 5 April 2025 for settlement (or “indefinite leave to remain”) applications. The other changes above do not alter the requirements of the category substantively, and it is considered proportionate to apply them to future extension and settlement applications by investors already in the category.

What are the other requirements for the UK Investor Visa?

The other main requirements to successfully apply for a UK Investor visa are as follows, although before submitting an application it is advisable to contact our specialist immigration solicitors to ensure all of the rules and requirements are met and the documents are in order.

  1. the Applicant must be in control of the investment funds;
  2. the funds were obtained lawfully (or by means which would be lawful if they happened in the UK);
  3. the character, conduct or associations of a party providing the funds mean that approving the application is conducive to the public good; and
  4. unlike all other business visa routes to the UK, there is no English language requirement.

You can access the latest Statement of Changes in full here: Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 1919 March 2019 LEXVISA Solicitors and Barristers

Can I still qualify for Accelerated Settlement under the UK Investor Visa route?

There is still an option for investors to qualify for accelerated settlement under this route. The standard settlement route of 5 years requires the minimum £2 million investment, however investing more money can lead to quicker settlement. For example:

  • £5 million investment allows settlement in 3 years; and
  • £10 million investment allows settlement in 2 years.

All of the other requirements for settlement will also need to satisfied, such as not having excess absences from the UK and having KKoL.

Using Legal Representation to submit a successful application for a UK Investor Visa

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK Investor application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully submit an application for a UK Investor Visa

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a UK Investor Visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a Tier 1 Investor Visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Tier 1 Investor Visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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