The UK golden visas is the most popular route to settle in the United Kingdom for the rich and wealthy. The scheme also provides path to citizenship to those who invest a £2m to £10 million pounds. Some 4000 rich families obtained residence in the UK through high value investor visa route.
The UK Government has opened immigration route for HNW investors on 1 October 1994. Up to 2004, investor applicants were required to hold at least £1 million in the UK and to invest £750,000 in UK Government bonds, stocks or corporate bonds. In addition, the applicant had to make the UK their main home.
In 2008, the UK introduced golden visa programme, officially known as the ‘Tier 1 (Investor)’ route, replacing the previous ‘Investor Immigrant’ category, firstly introduced in 1994. From 1994 to Oct 2014, the investment amount remained the same £1 million unaltered.
When the scheme launched in 2008, only 3 applications were received in Q3 2008 since then within a decade, UK’s golden visa scheme has become one of the most popular immigration schemes in the world for HNW population.
The UK Home office on Oct, 2014, increased the investment amount for Tier 1 investor visas from £1 million to £2 million, and made further amendments to the investor program such as no loans, no topping, no investment in UK property. From April 2017 onwards, criminal certificate was made compulsory along with opening bank account in the UK.
- Settle after 5 years if you invest £2,000,000 or more in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies
- Settle after 2 years if you invest £10 million pounds
- Settle after 3 years if you invest £5 million pounds
We have analyzed the Tier1 investor visa report for 10 years from 2008 to 2018, published by UK Government and have arrived at these conclusions.
- FDI: UK received some £4.8 billion foreign investment into UK through tier1 investor scheme (assuming each investor contributed £1 million until 2015 and £2 million after 2016 to 2018
- Total Investor visas: The total Investor visas has been granted to 3988 main investors and 6952 dependents, making it a total of 10,940 persons receiving entry clearance or residence permits under tier1 investor category. Each investor on average brought two family members at an average of (1.7)
- Brexit: In June 2016, UK voted for Brexit but it had no effect on investor visas. Infact for 2017, the number applications increased by 57% instead of declining.
- Refusal rate: The Refusal rate for dependents is 9.3% is higher than main investors (7.4%)
- Approval rate: The Approval rates have been around 95% for the year 2017 and 2018 for tier1 investor visa applications
- Withdrawn/Lapsed cases: For Main investors, 28 applications have been withdrawn and 1 lapsed. For dependents 48 applications have been withdrawn and 9 lapsed.
- Applications received: A total of 4,359 investment applications received for the UK investor visa in the past ten years from 2008 to 2018, averaging 36 applications per month.
The year 2014 has received the highest number of applications. The average approval rate is 91%. The refusal rate remained highest in 2008, 2009 and 2015
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A total of 724 dependents have been refused for investors. The approval rate for dependents stands less than 90%