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  • Aug4 2014

    What would be the impact of the United Kingdom’s new rules regarding the UK’s Investor Visa?

    BY Author IN immigration law

    Nowadays, if an individual wishes to come to the United Kingdom for a business matter, he can apply for a Tier 1 visa. For the tier 1 visa, apart from an investment of non-less than £1,000,000, the applicant does not have to fulfil any other major requirement. As per example, he does not have to provide any proof of an appropriate/correct level in English or to show evidence of his commitment to create/invest in a business in the United Kingdom for the sake of it.

    Nevertheless, the United Kingdom is not the only state to ‘sell’ entries (visas) for wealthy people to bail out its accounts. Indeed, many others share this principle. To start with, the USA’s EB-5 visa presents a way of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States (either 1,000,000$ in any field or half of this amount in a Targeted Employment Area) along with the creation of at least 10 jobs. Not far from it either, Australia’s Investor Visa requires an investment of approximatively £825,000 and can be renewed for an indefinite leave after a few years if the money has been invested as due, and Maltese Citizenship can be obtained by Non-Refundable Contribution of approximatively £580,000. Dubai as well is starting to be interested by this mostly financial type of visa, as declared recently by the government.

    United Kingdom’s new rules regarding the UK’s Investor Visa aim to converge the financial resources to fields in real need of it. Indeed, the money invested in the United kingdom so far by the Tier 1 Investor visas didn’t profit the United Kingdom itself as much as the applicants. Therefore, the new rules tend to resemble at some point the USA’s EB-5 visa, favouring the investments to be in certain fields that were given priority by the government in the matter of bailing out the main sectors in the constant need of grants, such as schools, charities, construction industry as to be able to fully profit of this income. Following this idea, these new rules should benefit the United Kingdom’s economy and migration.

    Based on an objective point of view, the new rules brought by the reform sound fair and legitimate as well as necessary for this visa to fulfil its meaning. Yet, on a more subjective look, these new rules favour more the United Kingdom Government as it has more control over the investments, giving therefore less choices/freedom to the applicants. Thus this reform gets the United Kingdom’s Tier 1 investor visa closer to the USA’s EB-5 visa requirements though without its major benefit that would have been an equivalent of the Green Card.

    Overall, the new reform’s rules will readjust the balance between the UK and the applicant’s profit, though mainly making up on the lack of benefit for the United Kingdom.