The Future of Tier 1 Investor Visa

The Migration Advisory Committee (“MAC”) has put forward the following recommendations to the Home Office, at the request of the British Government, to revise the rules governing the UK Investor Visa Scheme to make it even more attractive prospect for both the UK and the high‑net‑worth individuals as each year more and more prospective investors are applying to become resident in the fastest growing developed economy in the world and get the world’s most powerful British passport.

First, the MAC has called for the minimum investment threshold of £1 million to be increased to £2 million. The MAC has also suggested changes to relax the restrictions on permissible investment instruments and remove the legal requirement for Investors to submit quarterly portfolio valuations.

The MAC has also proposed a complete revamp of the accelerated route to settlement which currently enables Investors to apply for settlement (permanent residence, or indefinite leave to remain) after just two (2) or three (3) years if they have invested £5 or £10 million in the UK. The normal route of settlement, on the other hand, can only be taken after five years if the Investors have maintained an investment of £1 million in the UK.

Another key change proposed by the MAC is the introduction of a capped “premium route”, offering one hundred (100) Investors per year the option to invest at least £2 million in the UK with an extra donation of £500,000 to the UK Government for investment into specified good causes and acquire the right to settle in the UK after just two (2) years.

Among other proposed changes is the UK residence requirement for premium route Investors to be reduced from 185 days per year to just 90 days allowing them to spend more time abroad due to the international nature of their business engagements.

1st Citizen UK immigration lawyers recommend that any potential Investors considering the UK investor visa scheme make their applications as soon as possible to benefit from the current £1 million investment threshold which is still available under the current rules, in case the proposed £2 million investment threshold is introduced by the Home Office.