This briefing note is only intended as a general statement of the law and no action should be taken in reliance on it without specific legal advice.

Changes to Tier 1 (Investor) Route
06 November 2014

Changes to Tier 1 (Investor) Route

From today, The Home Office is implementing long awaited changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) category. Any applications submitted on or before 5 November 2014 will be considered under the old rules.

The following changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) route are now in force:

  1. The minimum investment threshold has been raised from £1 million to £2 million.
  2. The full £2 million investment must be invested in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
  3. Investors may no longer use cash on deposit or the value of their residential property as part of their investment.
  4. The rule requiring investments to be "topped up" has been removed for applicants applying under the new rules. Investors are no longer required to "top-up" investments if the market value of the portfolio falls below £2 million, provided that the purchase price of the portfolio was £2 million. If Investors sell part of their portfolio they will need to purchase new investments within the same reporting period to ensure a portfolio purchase price of £2 million. Investors, under the rules in place before 6 November 2014, must still "top-up" any shortfall in investments.
  5. Investors must make their investment within 13 weeks of arriving in the UK. However, Investors will not be penalised for any delay in making the investment if the reasons for the delay are out of their control.
  6. New applicants will no longer be able to source investment funds by way of a loan.
  7. Entry Clearance Officers, UK Visas & Immigration case workers are being empowered to refuse a Tier 1 (Investor) application if they have reasonable grounds to believe that:
    • the applicant is not in control of the investment funds;
    • the funds were obtained unlawfully (or by means which would be unlawful if they happened in the UK); or
    • the character, conduct or associations of a party providing the funds mean that approving the application is not conducive to the public good.
  8. Please note that there have been no changes to the residence requirements and main applicants cannot be absent for more than 180 days in each 12 month period.
  9. The approved investments remain unchanged. However there will be a further consultation on this matter in due course.
  10. The £5 million and £10 million route still exists for Investors wishing to benefit from accelerated settlement.
  11. There are transitional arrangements in place for any Investors already in the UK or who have made an application for a Tier 1 Investor visa prior to 6 November 2014. Any Investor who is under the rules in place before 6 November 2014 will not be affected by any of the changes above.

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