Changes to the Tier 1 UK Investor Visa

According to the new document entitled “Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules” which was released by the House of Commons on the 7th March 2019, a number of changes will come into place that will affect the Tier 1 UK Investor Visa amongst other visa programmes and schemes. This article discusses the upcoming immigration changes that will take place as of March 29th 2019 (day of Brexit) and how these will impact the Tier 1 UK Investor Visa programme.

UK Tier 1 Investor Visa rules which will come into effect on the 29th March 2019 will change significantly. The largest rule to change is the length of time an investor must have held funds prior to investing in the UK.

Under the current system, applicants under this scheme (Tier 1 UK Investor Visa ) would have had to have held funds only for 90 days prior to making their application. This has now been extended to two years under the new rules which will come into effect in a matter of weeks.

In addition, requirements to open a UK bank account are also being restricted further. Banks will now be required to carry out checks on applicants before a visa application has progressed.

The new rules that will soon come into force also will restrict Tier 1 UK Investor Visa applicants from buying UK national debt in the form of Government Bonds (something that was previously allowed as a qualifying factor for the Tier 1 investor visa).

The document also outlines changes on routing funds through intermediaries which the law post-March 29th will state that any intermediaries involved in routing investment funds must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The definition of “Active” and “Trading” companies are also being redefined in the new rules. The new definitions of both of these terms will be as follows.

Active and Trading companies must be:
-Registered with UK Companies House
-Registered with HMRC for corporation tax and PAYE

They also must:
-Have their accounts and a business bank account in the UK that both showing regular trading of goods and services
-Have at least two UK-based staff members who are not company directors

If you are a current investor visa holder, you will be subject to provisional arrangements that run until 5 April 2023 for visa extension applications, and 5 April 2025 for UK settlement applications.

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