UK Visas Update: Changes to Tier 1 Investor Visa

Yesterday, the UK Government published the ‘Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules’. From 6 November 2014, the minimum investment threshold for the Tier 1 Investor visa is being increased to £2 million. Applicants will have to invest the full amount in order to be eligible for this visa route. Currently the minimum is £1 million and there is a 75:25 split of the investment funds. The changes that will come into force on 6 November 2014  will only apply to applications made on or after that date.

Immigration Minister: Tier 1 Investor Threshold will be Raised to £2 million

The changes comes as a disappointment, especially due to the short notice of the implementation dates. Implementation dates 20 October 2014, 6 November 2014, 1 December 2014 and 1 January 2015. The Minister of State for Immigration and Security, James Brokenshire laid his written statement before the House of Commons on 16 October 2014.

According to Mr Brokenshire:

“The Tier 1 (Investor) route is being reformed following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee. The minimum investment threshold will be raised from £1m to £2m. The government will also consult further on what sort of investment the route should encourage in order to deliver real economic benefits, and other improvements to the route. A consultation document will be published in due course.”

UK Government Listen to MAC Recommendations

In April this year, The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published a report on the Tier 1 Investor visa route in which it outlined several options for reform of the investor’s route. These included raising the minimum investment threshold from £1 million to £2 million, widening the investment options to encourage alternatives to gilts and removing the ability of the investment funds to be raised by way of a loan. It seems that the UK government has taken some of these recommendations on board but will be looking into this again in the future.

Successful UK Tier 1 Investor Visa Applications

The changes will come into force on 6 November 2014 and will only apply to  applications made on or after that date. Applicants who currently hold this visa, need not worry as they will only need to invest £1m but will remain subject to the current rules including the topping up rule and the 75:25 split.

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a Tier 1 Investor visa application (and applications for your dependants) step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law. If you wish to make a £1m investment, you should do so quickly and submit your applications before 6 November 2014 when the new rules are implemented.

Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.

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