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Tier 1 Investor Visa Route Suspended – Who Is Affected And How?

The Tier 1 Investor visa route was suspended to new applicants at midnight on Friday, 7th December 2018 pending publication of new Immigration Rules.  The new Tier 1 Investor rules, due in Spring 2019, will aim to ensure that the Investor route is not open to abuse by those seeking to launder money in the UK and that the funds invested are used to support UK businesses.

In a previous post, we looked at why the Tier 1 Investor visa route has been suspended, what changes to the category are on the cards and also what is not being changed.  In this article we look at who is affected by the suspension and how.

I am holding a Tier 1 Investor visa, am I affected?

If you are already in the UK with a Tier 1 Investor visa then neither you or your dependants (if any) are affected by the suspension.

You can continue to reside in the United Kingdom and, at the appropriate time, apply for an extension of stay and/or settlement.  If necessary, this application can be made while the suspension is in effect and, if so, will be determined against the requirements of the Immigration Rules currently in force.

Looking ahead, we will need to wait for a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules to be published before we know exactly how you will be affected once the new Immigration Rules are in force.

When the Tier 1 General route closed to new applicants, those already in the UK with leave as a Tier 1 General migrant were permitted to extend their stay and settle without any changes to the rules.  With the Tier 1 Investor route merely suspended rather than closed, it is hoped that the same will apply to existing Tier 1 Investors.

Equally, when the investment funds requirement for a Tier 1 Investor visa was increased from £1 million to £2 million, those already in the category were permitted to extend their stay and settle by relying on the Immigration Rules that applied when they entered the category.

However, some Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrants have seen the introduction of a genuine entrepreneur test at the extension stage when none was present when they initially entered the category and, more recently, dependant partners of points-based system migrants have seen the residence requirement for ILR amended part-way through their stay.

It remains to be seen therefore exactly how you will be affected by the new Immigration Rules when you apply for an extension of stay.  You may be permitted to maintain your existing investment, including any investment in UK Government Bonds where applicable, and only satisfy the existing requirements of the rules in terms of source and provenance of funds.

Alternatively, the UK government may require any funds invested in UK Government Bonds to be transferred into share or loan capital in active and trading UK companies following a successful application for an extension of stay.   Existing Tier 1 Investor visa holders may potentially also be required to provide a comprehensive audit of their financial and business interests as part of any future Tier 1 Investor visa extension or settlement application.  All will become clear once the new Immigration Rules are published…. READ FULL ARTICLE