UK closes Tier 1 Investor Visa route

Published on: 18 February 2022

 

The Home Office of the United Kingdom has announced the immediate shutdown of Tier 1 Investor Visa route. The closure affects all new applicants, irrespective of their nationalities, from 17 February 2022.

The reason for this sudden measure was deemed as “security concerns” that involve elites associated with corruption and/or people who obtained their fortune through illicit means.

“I have zero tolerance for abuse of our immigration system,” said Home Secretary Priti Patel. “Under my New Plan for Immigration, I want to ensure the British people have confidence in the system, including stopping corrupt elites who threaten our national security and push dirty money around our cities”.

 

The Tier 1 Investor Visa allowed wealthy people from abroad to invest in share capital or loan capital in active and trading registered companies in the United Kingdom. In return for the investment, the British government granted foreign investors the right to enter and stay in the country.

The scheme has been in constant review since it was launched in 2008. It was then reformed in April 2015. According to Home Secretary Priti Patel, results of reviews of investor visas from that time period will be published in due course. An anti-fraud action plan is also expected to be released soon, as well as the adoption of the UK Economic Crime Bill to protect British financial institutions and taxpayers. These are both part of a crackdown on fraud and illicit finance.

 

In the meantime, the Home Office of the United Kingdom will be improving the Innovator visa to a more attractive investment route for investors. The plan is to eliminate the possibility of settlement based on passive investments in the UK to discourage the involvement of owners of illicit finance in this route, as well as making it mandatory to implement a business strategy that directly impacts the UK’s economy positively, for example, by creating new jobs.

The Innovator visa is part of the new points-based immigration system, aimed at complementing the British labor pool with special talents around the world. The system offers the Innovator visa route for talented entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and industry experience who want to grow in the UK while also supporting the country’s economy.

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