Virginia, US

Dec 06 2018

Tier 1 (Investor) Visa Category Temporarily Suspended

United Kingdom

The situation

The UK government will suspend the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa category for new applications from midnight December 6, 2018 until a replacement category with an amended process and revised eligibility criteria is launched early 2019.

Impact

The suspension should not affect current permit holders or pending applications. However, foreign nationals who sought to submit a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa application after December 6, 2018 will need to wait until the new category is open to apply.

Affected applicants are advised to contact their immigration professional to discuss alternatives.

Background

The suspension follows EU-wide concerns on misuse, money laundering and fraud associated with ‘golden visa’ schemes.

Looking ahead

  • Next steps. The UK Immigration Minister is expected to submit draft legislation to the UK Parliament today to formalise the suspension. The draft legislation should include further details on the impact on pending applications and the proposed changes under the replacement scheme. Fragomen is in contact with the Home Office to investigate the practical impact of the suspension and will report on any new developments when they occur.
  • Planned regulations. New regulations – expected early 2019 – are likely to increase transparency on the source of investment funds and the financial background of the applicant, as well as changing the allowable investment purposes to potentially limit investment in government bonds and encourage investment in UK businesses.
  • Upcoming report. The European Commission plans to publish a report investigating current EU citizenship and residence by investment schemes by the end of 2018. The report should include recommendations on stricter background checks, review of applicants' sources of funding and measures to combat tax evasion.


This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to londoninfo@fragomen.com.