Tier 1 (Investor) Visa Programme – Entry Clearance

Among the many seemingly troublesome UK visa policies, Tier 1 (Investor) visa is a type that is particularly simple and the major requirement for entry clearance is if you have enough money and are prepared to invest it in the UK.

Why choose a Tier 1 (Investor) visa?

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is primarily targeting high net worth individuals who want to invest in the UK. Unlike the other types of UK visas, Tier 1 visa applicants and their dependents do not need: –

(i) to sit the English proficiency test;
(ii) to provide any maintenance funds;
(iii) to come from a specific country;
(iv) to have certain degree of education; or
(v) to have certain employment background.

If the Tier 1 (Investor) visa is a visa that you are considering, here are the benefits under this visa category: –

(i) you can bring your family with you as your dependents;
(ii) you and your family, legally, have the right to work in the UK;
(iii) your children can study in the UK; and
(iv) you and your family are entitled to NHS health care.

Market Reaction – Tier 1 (Investor) visa

The law on Tier 1 (Investor) visa changed on 6 November 2014. The main change was the increase in the investment required for Tier 1 (Investor) visa from £1 million to £2 million. The UK government has doubled the minimum investment to echo its plan to “consult further on what sort of investment the route should encourage in order to deliver real economic benefits” to the UK, in accordance with the Migration Advisory Committee’s report in February 2014.

Prior to this implementation, 2014 saw a surge in Tier 1 visa applications from Chinese nationals. For the year ending 30 September 2014, 357 Tier 1 (Investor) visa were granted to Chinese nationals. Bearing in mind there were only 178 Tier 1 (Investor) visa in the previous 12-month period, it was a significant increase.

After Portugal launched its “Golden Visas” in 2012 (and with Malta, Cyprus, Spain and Greece that subsequently joined them), a lot of non-EEA nationals made applications to obtain permanent residency in those countries. When the UK increased the value of the investment required for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa from £1 million to £2 million, it subsequently decreased the number of people applying for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa in the UK. It was, however, only for a short term.

Following UK vote for Brexit in June 2016 and the triggering of Article 50, despite the doubling of investment fund, our UK immigration lawyers have continued to see a consistent flow of non-EEA applicants submitting an application for the Tier 1 (Investor) visa. These applicants consider the UK as an economically and politically more stable and prosperous country in comparison to the other EU countries which offer a similar investor visa programme.

Using China as an example, more Chinese investors are investing and purchasing properties in the UK due to this stability and the benefits they gain in the exchange rate difference between the British Pound and the Chinese Yuen.

Contact Taylor Hampton

£2 million is a significant of money and there are several areas that an investor will need to take note of before making an investment decision. It is important to entrust professionals to take care of your application, in order to avoid any application refusal or delay.

For a professional and trustworthy team of immigration lawyers who are well situated in Central London, Taylor Hampton Solicitors is the firm to help you.

For further information, please click here to further understand the criteria when making a Tier 1 visa application or please contact our expert UK immigration lawyers for any queries.

By Loretta Pang