Tier 1 Investors - Changes

The Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 693, found here, made changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) Rules. The following changes took effect from 06 November 2014.

The current £1 million minimum investment threshold has been raised to £2 million.

The full investment sum must be invested in prescribed forms of investments (share or loan capital in active and trading UK companies, or UK Government bonds), rather than 75% of the sum.

The requirement that the migrant’s investment must be “topped up” if its market value falls is being removed; instead Tier 1 (Investor) Migrants will only need to purchase new qualifying investments if they sell part of their portfolios and need to replace them in order to maintain the investment threshold.

The provision under which the required investment sum can be sourced as a loan was removed.

Transitional arrangements are being applied, so that Tier 1 (Investor) Migrants who have already entered the route before these changes were introduced will not be subject to these changes when they apply for extensions or for indefinite leave to remain.

Entry Clearance Officers and UK Visas & Immigration caseworkers are being empowered to refuse a Tier 1 (Investor) application if they have reasonable grounds to believe that:

- the applicant is not in control of the investment funds;
- the funds were obtained unlawfully (or by means which would be unlawful if they happened in the UK); or
- the character, conduct or associations of a party providing the funds mean that approving the application is not conducive to the public good.

Constant changes to other categories of visas, often to the detriment of the migrant, has made the Tier 1 Investor route more attractive to those with the required resources. This results in an increase of investor applicants and a corresponding increase in the scrutiny of these applications by the Home Office. Expert advice in this area is becoming more important, please contact us for more information.