Why More Chinese Are Making The UK Their Home

Chinese Flag - Union Jack

The British and Chinese have a rich and diverse history in each other’s nations.  Since the 1800s Chinese nationals have been making the UK their home and today, more Chinese migrants arrive in the UK than from any other country.

Working with some of the best immigration lawyers in the UK, wealthy Chinese nationals are taking advantage of the strong UK economy and applying for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Investment Visas in ever-increasing numbers.

So, what is the appeal of the UK to Chinese people?  And which visa entry program offers the best in terms of investment and career opportunities, family life and the prospect of acquiring residency?

Bright lights, big city

The first migrants to settle in the UK from China were seamen, so naturally, port cities such as Liverpool and London were the main places of settlement.  London has continued to attract Chinese nationals, with official sources estimating there are now 124,250 Chinese people living in the capital. 

One of the most obvious cultural gifts given by the Chinese to London is Chinatown, a vivid, dynamic hub of Chinese food and culture.  Originally, Chinatown was based in the East End, where thousands of Chinese marines had settled.  The area was virtually annihilated in the Second World War, but soon afterwards, the first Chinese restaurants opened on Gerrard Street and entrepreneurs and investors swiftly moved in, making it the thriving area it is today.

Chinese Investors

Chinese investment is crucial to the UK.  This was highlighted in 2015 when the Chinese President was honoured with a state visit.  And Chinese investments have certainly provided a good return.  According to the Financial Times, figures released by Grant Thornton, a UK-based professional services firm show that Chinese-owned companies in Britain have enjoyed triple-digit growth in the last year.

London residential and commercial property have also been snapped up by Chinese investors, especially following the drop in the pound and the middle-class in China looking for overseas investment opportunities.

A UK Tier 1 Investor Visa offers many advantages, including a fast-tracked settlement programme, the freedom to buy property, access to healthcare and the ability to bring family members.  There is also no language requirement attached to a Tier 1 Investor Visa.

The funds required for investment is £2 million, which can be invested in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.  Unlike some European citizenship by investment programmes, funds cannot be invested in companies involved in property acquisition, management and/or development.

Given the amount of capital required to obtain a Tier 1 Investor Visa, it is imperative to get advice from a wealth manager, immigration solicitor and other professionals to ensure your funds are invested in the best way possible and you meet the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain after the qualifying period.

Starting out on your own

Another popular route for ambitious Chinese nationals to enter Britain on is via the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa.  Successful applicants can launch their own venture or invest £200,000 in an existing company, so long as they work full time in it.

The criteria for obtaining a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa is strict.  Not only must applicants have the required funds of either £50,000 or £200,000, they must also:

  • meet the English language requirements
  • pass the ‘genuine Entrepreneur’ test
  • present a solid business plan
  • have enough funds to support themselves and any family members who will be joining them.

OTS Solicitors visiting China

Later this month, the firm’s founding partners, Mr Oshin Shahiean and Ms Teni Shahiean will be visiting China, meeting various business people and attending an academic institution.  During their visit, they will be taking the time to talk to potential UK Tier 1 visa applicants, discovering the challenges they face when applying for a visa and the opportunities that attract them to the UK.

Armed with this knowledge, they will be able to further assist Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Investor Visa prospects in successfully making their application and helping them overcome any obstacles they may face, before, during and after being granted entry into Britain.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London.  By making an appointment with one of our immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.  Our business immigration solicitors, Teni Shahiean, Oshin Shahiean, Nagesh Jain and Dr Lusine Navasardyan can assist you in obtaining a Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Investor Visa and can refer you to financial advisors to advise you on suitable investments.

If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.

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