Removal of the UK Tier 1 (Investor) category
On February 17, 2022, British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the closure of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category with immediate effect. This came as a surprise to many Immigration practitioners and prospective applicants, although the UKVI (UK Visa and Immigration) was considering closing this route for a very long time.
The Tier 1 (Investor) route has been removed for new entrants but those already on the route are still able to extend their visas and apply for settlement.
The reason for this closure was cited as national security concerns. This move could end up creating more challenges for genuine HNIs who want to get a British visa, professionals say.
The British Home Secretary did not cite the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis as one of the main reasons for ending the Tier 1 Investor visa, and instead called out unnamed “corrupt elites” for the abrupt measure as she hinted that more immigration reforms were in the cards, according to a statement. “I have zero tolerance for abuse of our immigration system. Under my New Plan for Immigration, I want to ensure the British people have confidence in the system, including stopping corrupt elites who threaten our national security and push dirty money around our cities,” Ms. Patel said.
A Senior Immigration lawyer says, “I think it is fair to say that this visa route has been in danger for some time, because of political concerns about dishonestly obtained Russian money coming into the UK. Matters may have been sparked off by events surrounding Ukraine, but these concerns have been around for the last few years.
The Tier 1 Investor visa had appealed to many foreign investors because it offered them the freedom to choose any UK businesses they preferred. Applicants were free to invest in a UK business they believed is best suited for their investment in terms of viability, returns and area the business operates in. There was no requirement to fulfil language requirements or be involved in the business receiving the funds. Closing this category will make it more challenging for high-net-worth investors to obtain a visa for UK which will give them similar flexibility.
Despite of this, there are several other programs under which one can apply to immigrate to the UK. Call us to know more.