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Recommendations for the suspension of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category

The Home Office Select Committee has recommended the immediate suspension of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category whilst the Government considers the options for reform.

In its latest report on the work of the UK Immigration Directorates, the Home Office Select Committee has recommended the immediate suspension of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category whilst the Government considers the options for reform.  Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on Investor Visas, the Select Committee has expressed its “alarm” about the purported “purchase of gilts for citizenship” and suggests that Investor Visa route brings very little benefit to the UK.

Terminating the Investor Visa route would not be without precedent in the international sphere - Canada has recently announced that it was terminating its Immigrant Investor Programme, although the Canadian programme had been suspended for some time.  However, in the UK, suspending visa programmes is an extreme measure especially where there has been little or no evidence of abuse.  

Whilst any move to suspend the existing Investor Visa route may well be an opportunity to “clear the decks” ready to introduce whatever changes the Government intends following the MAC Report, in our view, it remains unlikely that any wholesale reform would be implemented retrospectively. Nonetheless, it is clear that we should expect far-reaching changes (not least raising thresholds for investment) to be introduced imminently.  In these uncertain times, we recommend that anyone considering relocating to the UK under the Investor Visa route should act immediately.  

Related Expertise

Advice to private banks Arriving in or leaving the UK Immigration Investor visas Private Wealth

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