Brexit Likely To Equal A Further Blow To Tier One (Investor) Visa

Hundreds of wealthy foreign nationals have invested millions of pounds in to the European economy in exchange for having their applications for citizenship fast-tracked.

But now, experts are saying that Brexit will lead to falling interest rates and make Britain a much less popular place for Russian, Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern nationals to take risks with their money.

Interest rates held

Yesterday it was widely speculated that the Bank of England would cut interest rates to below the current 0.5%.  This did not happen.  Sterling rose as high as $1.3480 following the decision before falling back to $1.3312.

UK’s attraction already waning

Following an overhaul of the UK Investor Visa eligibility requirements in November 2014, where the funds required was increased from £1 million to £2 million, the popularity of the entry route has waned considerably.  In 2015 only 182 Investor Visas were granted, down from 1,172 the previous year, according to the Global investor immigration Council.

And the route may close altogether, following a move in February 2016 by Baroness Hamwee and Lord Paddick who tabled an amendment to the 2015 immigration Bill that could see an end to the Tier 1 Investor Visa for new applicants by 1st January 2017.

Other European countries more attractive option

Many investors have chosen to use visa programs offered by states such as Cyprus and Malta as a way of gaining access to the U.K. faster and cheaper. Both offer a path to EU citizenship, sometimes in as little as 90 days, and can require investments of just $750,000.

However, when Britain leaves the EU, access to Britain through EU citizenship may no longer be available, depending on how negotiations between Theresa May’s government and Brussels pan out.  Therefore, to gain the right to settle in the Britain, investors must obtain a UK visa.

Entrepreneur route

immigration Solicitors have been suggesting since the beginning of the year that an alternative route for investors who wish to enter the UK is the Tier One (Entrepreneur) visa.  The funding requirements are far less, and UK settlement can be fast-tracked if the visa holder creates at least ten jobs and/or achieves an annual turnover of £5 million a year.

There are a number of ways foreign investors can invest in pre-existing companies in the UK, and for many, it may be a more attractive option, as entrepreneurs must work in the company that have chosen to put their funds into and therefore, they will have a say in how the organisation is run.

OTS Solicitors is a London based immigration, employment and litigation firm.  We are recognised throughout the UK as experts on immigration law. Please contact our London office on 0207 936 9960 to make an appointment with one of our team.

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