Yesterday the Home Office announced changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) category that will come into effect from 6 November 2014. These changes will apply to applications made on or after 6 November. If you do not want to be affected by these changes your application must be made before 6 November.
The main changes are:
Minimum level of funds for investment increased from £1 million GBP to £2 million GBP The full £2 million (or £5 million/£10 million for the accelerated routes to settlement) must be invested (previously this was 75%) Removal of top up requirement Removal of the option to use a UK bank loan to source funds for the investment The Home Office has the power to refuse initial applications and extension applications where: the applicant is not in control of and at liberty to freely invest the money the money held by the applicant (including where provided to the applicant by a third party), has been acquired by conduct that is unlawful in the UK or would be unlawful in the UK where the money has been provided by a third party (e.g. gift) and the character, conduct or associations of that party are such that approval is not conducive to the public good. Increase in investment
Previously, investors had to show they had £1 million to invest in the UK. This has now increased to £2 million.
In addition, the Home Office now require the full investment in the permitted types of investment (UK government bonds, share and loan capital in UK registered and trading companies). Previously, investors could invest a minimum of 75% in the specified investments and 25% in a UK property, cash on deposit in a UK bank and/or other types of UK investment. The requirement to invest the money in full also applies to investors seeking to obtain settlement in the UK under the accelerated routes where they have invested £10 million or £5 million. They will now need to invest the full amounts in the specified investments.
Removal of the top up requirement
Currently, an investor must top up their investments in the UK by the next reporting period if they fall below the required £1 million. This requirement has been removed and the investor need only top up if they sell part of their portfolio at a loss. In that situation, they will need to make up the loss within the same reporting period by purchasing other qualifying investments. This change does not apply to investors who applied for their visa/residence permit before the 6 November 2014 so...