Update: Tier 1 investor route
has NOT been suspended
December 19, 2018
Contrary to reports last week, the Home Office did not suspend the Tier 1 Investor route in its latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules.
This is despite the European Commission declaring its intention to review the visa programme amid concerns about money laundering and tax evasion.
Instead, a spokesperson said ‘We remain committed to reforming the route. A further announcement will be made in due course’. This is thought to be in the new year, as Parliament starts its Christmas recess this Thursday (20 December).
The Immigration Minster Caroline Nokes had previously made this statement:
‘We will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system.
‘That is why I am bringing forward these new measures which will make sure that only genuine investors, who intend to support UK businesses, can benefit from our immigration system.’
The scheme was originally introduced across Europe in 2008 to encourage wealthy people from outside the EU to invest in the UK. Each member state set its own rules, with some countries offering citizenship in return for a significant financial investment into property or government bonds.
In the UK, under the Tier 1 Investor scheme, you can acquire indefinite leave to remain after five years if you could show an outlay of £2 million.
355 people used this route in 2017, a tiny fraction of all visas granted.
While there were checks on the person’s ‘good character’ there was previously no audit to show that they had held control of the funds for at least two years.
Three years ago, the Migration Advisory Committee also pointed out that this scheme was of little benefit to the country as applications were buying gilts to qualify, effectively loaning the government money rather than investing in the UK.
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