UK Immigration Update – February 25th 2022

UK immigration rules have changed this month as a result of international tensions between Russia and the West in Ukraine. Learn more about these most recent changes below.

The Closure of the Tier 1 Investor Visa

In recent weeks, the UK Home Secretary – Priti Patel – has taken bold steps to close the Tier 1 Investor visa route to new applicants from all nations.

The Tier 1 Investor Visa route permitted applicants to enter and stay in the UK provided they invested a minimum of 2Million GBP of their own money into active and trading UK-registered enterprises as share capital or loan capital.

Even though the visa route has been one of the most lucrative and reliable immigration paths for high net individuals to place themselves on a path to achieve indefinite leave to remain in a matter of years, it has come under criticism and scrutiny as well as it is seen to enable persons who have amassed wealth illegally or in a corrupt way to seek a path to residency in the UK.

Since its inception, the Tier 1 Investor visa route has been changed several times to improve its value to the UK economy and to decrease the route’s exposure to illegal funding and corrupt money stream. To counteract the impact of stopping this particular route, the Home Secretary has said that improvements will be made to the Innovator visa path to allow settlement for those applicants who can implement not only an investment strategy but also create jobs in the UK and provide sustainable economic advantages to the economy.

Immigration Concessions for Ukrainians living in the UK

Ukrainians in the UK who are here to work, study, or visit will be granted temporary visa extensions by the Home Office, as well as assistance in switching to new visa pathways.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has stated that Ukrainian nationals on an existing points-based system route can extend their stay in the UK, and Ukrainian nationals on an existing visitor visa can convert to a points-based system immigration route without having to leave the country. Moreover, Ukrainian nationals on existing seasonal worker visas, as well as those working in temporary HGV and pork butcher positions, will have their stay in the UK extended until December 31, 2022, and will be able to apply for the skilled worker program as well.

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