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Domestic worker visas

The new immigration rules on domestic worker visas are potentially disastrous for many clients who wish to become key investors into the UK.

Most investors into the UK do not enter the UK on a visitor visa, rather they enter on a Tier 1 (Investor) visa for a minimum of three years and often much longer.  However, under the new rules they would be prohibited from bringing any of their overseas domestic staff to the UK unless they entered the UK on a temporary basis under a visitor visa. As such, I believe that the new rules announced in February 2012 are contradictory to and could potentially scupper the efforts of the newly improved Tier 1 (Investor) visas which aim to attract investment into the UK.

Individuals and their family members, who highly value the relationship of trust and confidence that they have built up with their staff, would be less likely to come and invest in the UK if they could not bring their employees.

Contrary to the article on this subject published belatedly in the STEP Journal of May 2012, for investor visa holders who are already in the UK (under a Tier 1 (Investor) visa) and employing domestic workers in the UK, domestic workers who are currently living and working in the UK will be able to continue to renew their visas - at least as the rules currently stand.

Surely the status quo of one year visas, renewed each year is the best way of achieving the Government’s goal of attracting investment into the UK whilst ensuring that accompanying domestic staff remain in the UK for that purpose only? investor visa holders in the UK would have less objection to the settlement option being removed but they are concerned that these recent changes mean that a domestic worker can only come to the UK with an employer who has entered the UK on a visitor visa for 6 months.

This goes directly against the government's intention to encourage wealthy investors to invest in UK gilts and/or UK companies under the investor visa rules.

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