The UK has announced radical changes to its Investor Visa Scheme.
The British Home Office has announced significant changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa scheme in line with recommendations Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations.
Below is an overview of the changes that are coming into effect on 16 October 2014:
i) increase of the minimum investment threshold from £1 million to £2 million (The £5 million & £10 million options to accelerate settlement in the UK are still available);
ii) the removal of the “topping up” requirement which was mandatory under the previous rules if the investment’s market value fell below the required threshold;
iii) the removal of the “loan route” option, which allowed applicants to use borrowed money to make their investment in the UK;
iv) the requirement to invest full £2 million instead of investing 75% with remaining 25% invested in real estate (property); and
v) transitional arrangements so that the current Tier 1 (Investor) visa holders are not subject to these changes when they apply for extensions or for settlement (indefinite leave to remain)
The news might be disappointing for those who were in the process of making their applications as the minimum investment threshold has been raised from £1 Million to £2 Million. However it’s not all bad news as these changes will come into effect on 6 November 2014 and will only apply to applicants granted the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa on or after this date.
This means that those investors who have already secured Tier 1 visas or have made or will make their applications before 6th November 2014 will still be able to rely on the old rules until they become settled in the UK.
In other words, those who want to benefit from the lower investment threshold of £1 million are advised to apply before 5th of November.