Skip to main content
CLOSE

Charities

Close

Corporate and Commercial

Close

Employment and Immigration

Close

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance

Close

Fraud and Investigations

Close

Individuals

Close

Litigation

Close

Planning, Infrastructure and Regeneration

Close

Public Law

Close

Real Estate

Close

Restructuring and Insolvency

Close

Energy

Close

Entrepreneurs

Close

Private Wealth

Close

Real Estate

Close

Tech and Innovation

Close

Transport and Infrastructure

Close
Home / News and Insights / News / Investor visa withdrawal

At 4pm on 17 February 2022 the Gov.co.uk website was updated to confirm that individuals can no longer apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa. The closure of the scheme relates to new applicants only. Those who already have leave to remain on an Investor visa can apply for an extension and for indefinite leave to remain (subject to meeting the relevant requirements). This came with no warning, albeit there had been reports in the press in the days leading up to the withdrawal that the scheme could be pulled.

The Investor visa was introduced in its original format in 2008 as a mechanism to allow foreign nationals to apply for permanent residency in the UK. The route allowed for permanent residence to be achieved at various speeds dependent on how much an individual was willing to invest in the UK. The minimum investment to obtain an Investor visa prior to its withdrawal was £2 million.

The government have confirmed that the reason for the withdrawal was due to the start of a ‘new plan for immigration’ which includes a ‘renewed crackdown on illicit finance and fraud’. According to the statement released by the government, discontinuation of the scheme was because of security concerns, ‘including people acquiring their wealth illegitimately and being associated with wider corruption’. However, the Immigration Rules did already require individuals applying for an Investor visa to provide evidence to support the source of the monies being invested and applications could be refused on the basis of concerns as to that source. The Rules were also quite prescriptive on how funds could be invested once they were in the UK.

The sudden withdrawal of the Investor visa will have resulted in a number of prospective applicants losing access to the scheme part-way through an application, applicants who may in some cases have already taken financial decisions on the basis of the scheme’s availability to them. Closure of the scheme has further narrowed the options for high-net worth individuals seeking to relocate to the UK, particularly after the closure of the Entrepreneur route, and its replacement with the somewhat convoluted and impractical Innovator and Start Up categories.

It remains to be seen whether a revamped scheme will take the place of the Investor visa. The Home Office’s statement alludes to ‘reforms to the Innovator route…to provide an ambitious investment route which works more effectively in support of the UK’s economy’. It is likely that any such changes will not be made until at least the autumn and will probably require applicants to provide evidence of a track record of investment or entrepreneurship.

Related Articles

Our Offices

London
One Bartholomew Close
London
EC1A 7BL

Cambridge
50/60 Station Road
Cambridge
CB1 2JH

Reading
The Anchorage, 34 Bridge Street
Reading RG1 2LU

Southampton
4 Grosvenor Square
Southampton SO15 2BE

 

Reading
The Anchorage, 34 Bridge Street
Reading RG1 2LU

Southampton
4 Grosvenor Square
Southampton SO15 2BE

  • Lexcel
  • CYBER ESSENTIALS PLUS

© BDB Pitmans 2024. One Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7BL - T +44 (0)345 222 9222

Our Services

Charities chevron
Corporate and Commercial chevron
Employment and Immigration chevron
Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance chevron
Fraud and Investigations chevron
Individuals chevron
Litigation chevron
Planning, Infrastructure and Regeneration chevron
Public Law chevron
Real Estate chevron
Restructuring and Insolvency chevron

Sectors and Groups

Private Wealth chevron
Real Estate chevron
Transport and Infrastructure chevron