On March 7th, 2019, UK Visas and Immigration published a statement of changes in immigration rules. Certain reforms were made to UK Investor Visa (Tier 1), and they will start to be implemented officially on March 29th, 2019. Just as usual, there is a 21-day transition period. The applications submitted in this period will still be processed based on the previous rules.
The changes that will take place in UK Investor Visa (Tier 1) application are as follows:
1, The GBP 2 million investment should have been put in the applicant's overseas account for at least 2 continuous years, instead of 90 days. For those who cannot meet this requirement, they shall provide the source of funds during application.
2, Applicants are required to provide their investment plans to the UK Visas and Immigration, which the Home Office will conduct strict assessment on and decide whether they are eligible or not.
3, The investment can no longer be put in UK Government Bonds any more. Applicants can only make investments in corporate bonds, stocks or shares of British active companies. This adjustment applies to investors who: a) obtain the approval to their first application after March 29th, 2019; b) apply for visa renewal after April 6th, 2023; or c) apply for permanent residence after April 6th, 2025.
4, The supervision of bank is strengthened. Banks are required to conduct due diligence check and KYC (Know Your Customer) on applicants.
5, All investments made by the Tier 1 Visa holders during the visa validity duration are subject to strict supervision. Rights and obligations of parties under contract signed in the 5-year residence period, fund flow and the process of changing investment products shall be in line with the regulations of Financial Conduct Authority. What is more, all investments must be conducted in the UK.
In the past, UK Entrepreneur Visa (Tier 1) program did not bring much benefits to the UK economy, due to the full withdrawal of investment after the 5-year investment period. With the above reforms, now, the UK is looking forward to seeing actual economic benefits in the free market.
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