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Tier 1 Investor category suspended with immediate effect

06 December 2018

The Home Office has suspended the Tier 1 (Investor) immigration category for new applications from midnight on Thursday 6th December 2018 as part of a crackdown on organised crime and money laundering in the UK. The move follows a 46% rise in applications under the route from July this year, to over 400 applications.

The suspended category allowed applicants to invest in government bonds or British trading companies, with the ability for a main applicant to settle in the UK after five years if investing £2 million, with accelerated settlement periods of three years for an investment of £5 million or two years for an investment of £10 million. Dependants however were only eligible to settle after spending a period of five years in the UK.

Applications already under consideration will continue to be processed, however will receive intense scrutiny.

The government plans to reintroduce an immigration route for investors in 2019, with more stringent qualifying criteria. These include:

  • A requirement for an applicant’s business and financial interests to be audited by a suitably regulated UK auditor that has no interest in the visa application or the proposed UK investments
  • Providing evidence that the cash investment funds have been under the control of the applicant for at least two years before the date of application
  • Only allowing investments to be made in active and trading British companies – government bonds will no longer be accepted as an eligible investment and it is anticipated that investments may be pooled in order to support businesses the government has assessed as having clear economic benefit to the UK
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