The UK Government has announced the suspension of £2 million tier1 investor visa scheme effective Dec 7, 2018. The scheme is only temporarily halted and will likely resume with new rules in 2019.

Proposed new changes to rules in 2019

  • Government bond option will be scrapped
  • The entire £2m investment can only be invested in active UK businesses, small and medium enterprises including Startups fostering economic activity
  • The entire funds will be monitored for two years.
  • Source of funds must be obtained legally
  • No changes to the investment amount, which will remain at £2 million

According to Migration office report, most applicants funded Government bonds through loans, resulting in little or no economic activity in the UK.

The UK Government prior to 2015, approved investor visas on blind faith with checking the source of funds and no due diligence checks were done on applicants. From April 2015, the Home Office requires applicants to have a UK bank account before applying for a visa with banks doing the checks on source of funds. In 2018, UK announced some 700 russians who applied under this scheme will be investigated.

As of Sep 2018, the Home office has issued a total of 3,988 investor visas and 6,952 dependent visas issued since 2005, according to Home Office statistics

  • China – 1341
  • Russia – 828
  • United States – 198
  • Hong Kong – 144
  • India – 87
  • Turkey – 69

A total of 10,938 visas issued under UK tier1 investor visa scheme for families in including all dependents.

Main Applicant Dependents Total
2008 43 95 138
2009 153 282 435
2010 211 372 583
2011 331 529 860
2012 470 920 1390
2013 565 1038 1603
2014 1172 1823 2995
2015 192 516 708
2016 215 373 588
2017 350 531 881
2018 284 473 757
Total 10938

 

Alternatives

There are alternatives for UK investor visa scheme

  1. Ireland golden visa scheme is already half cheaper than the UK costs €1 million
  2. UK still offers entrepreneur visas which is ten times cheaper £200,000
  3. European countries like Malta (€1M) and Cyprus (€2M) will compete for Tier1 investors offering direct citizenship for HNW families

Top Countries

  • China
  • Russia
  • United States
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Turkey

Total Visas

  • Main Apps
  • Dependents
  • Total