The Tier 1 Investor visa category will remain opened contrary to the rumours that this route will be suspended or closed. The published changes to the rules make clear that the Tier 1 Investor visa category will remain open to new applicants from 29 March 2019.
The key changes are listed below.
- Applicants will need to have held their investment funds for at least 2 years prior to the date of application;
- The Home Office will have power to refuse an application where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the funds have been, or will be, transferred internationally by means which are unlawful in any of the countries involved;
- Applicants will need to provide confirmation from a UK bank that it has carried out all required due diligence checks and Know Your Customer enquiries.
The new rules will not require investors to undergo enhanced checks on their financial situations and business histories, carried out by a UK-regulated auditor, before making a visa application, as was previously anticipated. Applicants will no longer be able to simply buy up UK national debt to qualify as an investor. Purchase of UK government bonds is being excluded as a qualifying investment.Transitional arrangements for current investor visa holders will be in place until 5 April 2023 for extension applications and 5 April 2025 for settlement applications. Full changes announced can be seen at Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC1919.