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.
There are alternatives for UK investor visa scheme