On December 6, 2018, the Guardian and London Global Times reported on the suspension of UK Entrepreneur Visa (Tier 1) application. The suspension was claimed to start from December 7, 2018. Since the related policy has not been amended, the application for this program is still open. However, Caroline Nokes, the Minister of State for Immigration at the Home Office, is still preparing for the reform of immigration policy, especially that of the Tier 1 visa, which is expected to be introduced in the spring of 2019.
The main reason for changes in immigration policy is the processing of Brexit. Primarily, the EU passport holders are not going to enjoy the same welfares in the U.K. anymore. Additionally, the compensation of Brexit brought a huge economic burden to the U.K. Therefore, related immigration policies need to be adjusted.
Although the Tier 1 visa application had not been closed on December 7, Caroline Nokes issued a statement on the official website of the parliament. According to the statement, reforms will be conducted on Tier 1 (including Entrepreneur Visa and Investor Visa), Tier 2, Tier 5 and other categories. What is more, Entrepreneur Visa in Tier 1 will be replaced by Innovator Route, and Investor Visa applicants will be confronted with the review of source of funds and changes of investment directions.
There are two major reasons why there will be adjustments on the Investor Visa. Firstly, in the past, there was no requirement of source of funds in the application for Investor Visa, so many people doubted that the program would be used for money laundering. Secondly, the investment in U.K. Government bonds did not promote its economy much, so it is believed that if the investment is put in SMEs, it may be more effective. As for the concrete methods, the Prime minister hopes that they would be released before the end of the year.
Until now, no policy change on Representative of an Overseas Business Visa has been announced. It is expected that it will be the major way of immigration to the U.K. within a certain period of time in the near future.
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