Increase in Tier 1 Investor Visa applications driven by changes to US immigration

London business immigration lawyers have noticed an increase in applications for Tier 1 Investor Visas by ultra-high net worth individuals, fuelled in part by political instability in nations such as Russia and China, and also by changes to US immigration. British Citizenship lawyers are often approached about this visa route as it is seen as a ‘fast track’ route to settlement in the UK.

The Tier 1 Investor Visa is favoured by the ultra-rich – Roman Abramovich has, until recently, held a Tier 1 Investor Visa, although his current visa status is unclear after he incurred delays renewing his visa earlier in 2018.

Recent reports indicate that there were 405 applications for Tier 1 Investor Visas in the 12 months to 30 March 2018 – an increase of almost 50% on the previous year in the number of high and ultra-high net worth individuals looking to come to the UK. The majority of applications for Tier 1 Investor Visas came from China – 123 applications representing a huge increase on the previous year. 53 applications came from those of Russian nationality, and 24 applications came from Turkey.

Perceived political change and instability in some areas of the world, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, coupled with tensions between Russia and the West are thought to be prompting ultra-high net worth individuals from those regions to seek to settle elsewhere.

This comes at a time when Donald Trump’s approach to immigration has become significantly more restrictive. With suggestions that the US equivalent of the Tier 1 Investor Visa, the EB-5 investor programme, is to change or even that it will be scrapped, the UK has become more attractive than ever – despite concerns over Brexit.

Tier 1 Investor Visas are only open to a very few individuals – there is a minimum investment of £2 million. However, if an individual can satisfy this requirement, the visa route offers a relatively straightforward means of coming to the UK. There is no need for the applicant for a Tier 1 Investor Visa to demonstrate business expertise (as compared to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route), nor is there any requirement to demonstrate knowledge of the English language to be successful in a Tier 1 Investor Visa application.

Not only is it more straightforward to obtain a Tier 1 Investor Visa (provided the requisite funds are available) it is also viewed as a ‘fast track’ to settling in the UK. For those who invest £2 million, an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be made after 5 years. However, if you are able to invest more, the length of time before you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain decreases – to 3 years for an investment of £5 million, and to 2 years for n investment of £10 million.

OTS Solicitors have a proven track record handling Tier 1 Investor Visa applications for ultra-high net wroth individuals, as well as in all other areas of immigration including business immigration and personal immigration. For advice about the points-based system, including Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas and the Tier 2 sponsorship route, get in touch! Book an appointment today by calling 0203 959 9123



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