2nd March 2022
On 17 February 2022, the Government announced that the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route would be closed to new applicants with immediate effect. The ‘Investor’ visa has historically been attractive to wealthy individuals from overseas who were looking to relocate to the UK, with the visa allowing settlement and eventually UK citizenship in exchange for a £2m investment to the UK. The Government’s justification for closing this visa route includes concerns that this visa category gave rise to security concerns and that closing this visa route was the start of a renewed crackdown on fraud and illicit finance. The lack of notice given was intended to avoid an influx of late minute applications.
For individuals who already hold a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, it is still possible to make an application for leave to remain before 17 February 2026, and for individuals wishing to apply for indefinite leave to remain this must be submitted before 17 February 2028. It is advised that all investors who meet the qualifying conditions make a settlement application as soon as possible and, in any event, ahead of the closure of this route in February 2028.
The Government states that settlement in the UK will now be conditional upon applicants executing an investment strategy that will aid genuine job creation and provide other economic benefits. Other visa categories will be expanded and revised to enable entrepreneurs wishing to run a business in the UK if they are able to demonstrate a track record of investing overseas. The end of the Investory visa means that passively holding UK investments will no longer be sufficient to obtaining UK settled status, but opportunities will be still available to individuals who can contribute skills, innovation, and growth to the UK economy.
If you are an individual wishing to relocate to the UK, we recommend that you seek tax advice before you become a UK tax resident. Please contact us for pre-immigration tax planning advice.