Latest news: Home Office has NOT suspended the UK Tier 1 Investor visa

By Oshin Shahiean of OTS Solicitors 

On Thursday, the 6 December OTS Solicitors posted a blog stating that the Tier 1 Investor visa would be suspended with effect from Friday the 7 December 2018.

The suspension of the Tier 1 Investor visa was widely reported in the media, including the BBC and newspapers. The press and Top London immigration solicitors relied on information contained in a statement by the Immigration Minister.

The best London immigration solicitors looked at the impact of the almost immediate suspension of the Tier 1 Investor scheme and speculated how it would affect the UK economy.

However, on Tuesday the 11 December a Home Office representative announced that:

"The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is not currently suspended; however we remain committed to reforming the route. A further announcement will be made in due course."

The latest statement conflicts with the announcement made 5 days earlier. The conflicting news has left the best London immigration solicitors puzzled by the lack of direction at the Home Office. 

More importantly, where does the latest announcement leave would be Tier 1 (Investor) applicants? Currently the Home Office system is allowing Tier 1 (Investor) visa applications to be submitted. Top London immigration solicitors are speculating when the next Home Office announcement will be made and if it will suspend Investor Visas again. 

Campaigners who had called for the suspension of Tier 1 (Investor) visas are said to be asking the government for urgent clarification of its position.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

Applicants for Tier 1 investment visa might think that they should wait for further announcements before submitting a Tier 1 (Investor) visa application. However, the best London immigration solicitors say that if an applicant waits for further announcements they may not be eligible to apply for a visa if the scheme rules are changed or the visa is later suspended. 

For advice on Investor Visas call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to speak to an experienced Immigration solicitor. 

Planned new Investor visa audit process  

Last week, the Immigration Minister said that the Investor visa would be suspended and that the suspension would only be lifted once an audit process had been introduced. It was announced that the independent auditors would consider:

• The applicant’s financial interests; and 

• The applicant’s business interests ; and 

• Assess whether the applicant has had control of their Investor funds for at least 2 years.

Reasons behind the conflicting Home Office announcements on the suspension of the Tier 1 Investor visa

Top London immigration solicitors do not know the rationale behind the decision to suspend the Investor visa scheme on Thursday the 6 December and the decision, 5 days later, not to put the suspension into effect. The latest Home Office spokespersons statement is very brief and does not address the inconsistency.

What the best London immigration solicitors do know is that the original decision to suspend the Tier 1 (Investor) visa was motivated by criticism of the government. Many argued that the Investor visa was allowing the super-rich to buy entry into the UK, potentially by using “dirty money” and committing money laundering offences.

The current Tier 1 (Investor) visa rules

As at today, in order to apply for a Tier 1 Investor visa, an individual applicant has to:

• Commit to investing at least 2 million in the UK – the investment has to be made within 3 months of arrival in the UK ; and 

• Have a UK bank account; and 

• Be of good character.

There are additional criteria but these are the main ones.

Investor visa status 

If an applicant is granted a Tier 1 Investor visa, then they are able to stay in the UK for 3 years and 4 months and they may apply to extend the visa. 

Top London immigration solicitors say that one of the major attractions of the Investor visa scheme is that after 5 years the Investor can apply for settled status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK. 

If an Investor puts 10 million into investments in the UK, they can get indefinite leave to remain in 2 years, cutting the timescale by 3 years for the extra 8 million commitment.

Where next with the Tier 1 (Investor) visa?

Given the confusion over the last few days, no one can say with any degree of confidence when the next announcement will be made and what it will mean for investors. 

The continued Brexit discussions and political debate may mean that attention is not focussed on clarifying Home Office announcements or reactivating the suspension of the Investor visa route.

The confusion and uncertainty may give visa applicants a window of opportunity to apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa. Equally the adverse publicity about the Investor visa attracting ‘’dirty money’’ into the UK may deter some genuine investors from wanting to commit to the UK. 

How can OTS Solicitors help?

If you are in the process of applying for a Tier 1 Investor visa or have plans to do so and want to consider your options and alternatives, call us for expert Immigration advice. Time may be a critical issue so we urge those considering applying for an Investor visa to take specialist London Immigration advice. 

OTS Solicitors are specialists in personal and business immigration. They have substantial expertise in securing Tier 1 Investor Visas. The Legal 500, legal directory, rank OTS Solicitors for business immigration services. In addition, OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.

For more information on Tier 1 Investor Visas and for advice on making an application or processing a current application or any other aspect of personal or business immigration law please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.

 

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For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

 

We are one of the UK’s top firms for Immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of Immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, indefinite leave to remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and Human Rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.

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