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Tier 1 Investors & the end of the million-dollar route

The current Tier 1 (Investor) route requires applicants to have £2,000,000 and must demonstrate they have held these funds for around two years. Under a previous iteration of the Immigration Rules, a person was required to hold only £1,000,000 or in some circumstances, could take a loan of £1,000,000 and show £2,000,000 in assets.

This blog looks at those currently on the £1,000,000 route and examines when they must change their investment or apply for further leave or indefinite leave.

How has the route changed?

In November 2014 the amount of investment required increased from £1,000,000 to £2,000,000. Those investors who were initially granted leave on the £1,000,000 route simply needed to maintain their investments, however, the statement of changes published 9 September 2019 now requires that those who need to extend their stay in the UK do so by 6 April 2020. If they do not, then they will have to increase their investment to £2,000,000.

It is important to note that if an investor needs to increase their investment to meet the requirements in place after 6 April 2020; their residence prior to this increased investment will not count as this will effectively be a new application. In essence, they will re-start the applicant’s immigration clock.

What about investments?

Investors are also no longer able to rely on UK government bonds for investments. If you have these investments, you should take advice immediately on moving these investments in order to secure further leave to remain. Applicants can continue to rely on government bonds for further leave applications up until 6 April 2023 and for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications up until 6 April 2025.

The changes in the Immigration Rules mean that there are different Rules for investors that arrived at different times. The Rules that exist are now rather complex, so advice should be taken at the earliest time. There are different Rules for absences as well, with arrivers prior to January 2018 needing to be present for 180 days per year, which changed to needing to be present for 180 days in any rolling 12-month period. As the Home Office cannot change Rules retrospectively; there is clearly a great unfairness if a person has relied on these Rule and planned their life around them.

What are the requirements?

Whilst we have looked requirements in terms of Rule changes, it is worth noting that the Investor visa does contain other requirements. Notably, these are that the English language requirement is met. For Indefinite Leave to Remain that stays at B1 and that the Life in the UK test has been passed. There are also stringent documentary requirements depending on what investments have been made and it is very important that these are adhered to. Regardless of whether you are on the £1,000,000 or the £2,000,000 route the requirement of English Language and Knowledge of Life in the UK remain a constant.

Need support with your investor visa?

As stated, before the investor visa can be a perplexing and often unfair application given the constantly shifting nature of the UK immigration system. Our lawyers aim to simplify the process and deliver to you expert legal advice and services. We have over eight decades worth of experience and have had great successes in terms of the investor visa.

For more information give us a call at 0207 118 4546, or email us at: info@westkin.com

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