Statement of Changes under Tier 1 Investor Route

Tier 1 Investor Route Changes 

An anticipated ministerial statement was laid before Parliament on the 16th October 2014, highlighting key changes to the current Immigration Rules.

On the 6th November 2014 significant changes to the Immigration Rules will be implemented in the Tier 1 (Investor) category, which is being transformed following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee.  The new amendments, announced in the Statement of Changes, will double minimum investment requirements, remove the ‘topping-up’ provision and not accept loaned funds.

Highlights of the Statement of Changes:

  • From 6th November 2014, Individuals wishing to enter the UK with a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, will be faced with a minimum £2 million GBP investment requirement, double the current minimum prerequisites. This is a significant increase upon the current £1 million investment requirement. The Home Office will also have more power over application decisions, as revealed below;
  • As of the 6th November, applicants will no longer be able to rely on loaned funds, the investment sum needs to be owned by the individual.
  • With reasonable grounds, the Home Office will have the power to refuse applications (even if all criteria has been met). This could be on cases where the applicant has obtained funds unlawfully or from 3rd parties.
  • Investors will no longer be able to ‘top-up’ their investment if it drops in value due to market fluctuations. The UK Government is, thus, encouraging investors to invest in higher risk investments which could potentially benefit the United Kingdom.
  • The Government will shortly consult on specific types of investment that this route should encourage to deliver financial benefits to the UK.
  • 100% of funds need to be invested into main investment funds as opposed to the current 75%. This could have an impact on the investor’s funds depending on how much is invested.

The above points highlight some of the key alterations outlined in the Statement of Changes for the Tier 1 (Investor) route.

For more information on how these changes could affect you, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Is UK Immigration Policy Restraining the Technology Boom?

In recent years, the UK’s technology sector has grown rapidly with the creation of ‘silicon roundabout’ and the numerous tech firms located nearby. There have been $30bn technology start-ups produced since the early 2000s in Europe alone. With many originating from the United Kingdom.

The UK is perhaps leading the way in terms of technology sector growth and its economic implications. However, recent reports show that the technology sector could be faced with a skills shortage, a position feared by many employers. This shortage of qualified, highly skilled migrants in the technology sector may be down to the UK’s ‘stringent’ immigration policy according to critics.

Reports show that the Points Based System has proven to be complex for many firms in terms of compliance, with smaller companies struggling to meet various immigration requirements. Thus, putting employers off from hiring abroad altogether.

If the technology sector is to continue booming in the UK, it seems that the immigration rules will need to be relaxed, with highly skilled migrants along with students being prioritised.

Lord Heseltine recently stated that students should also be exempt from immigration cuts, this could also have a profound effect on the technology boom because graduates play a huge role in the technology sector.

 

Leading Professors show disdain towards immigration policies

Professor Andrew Hamilton, vice-chancellor of Oxford University and Professor John O’Keefe, recent Nobel Prize Winner for his research into the brain’s ability to create a map of its surroundings and navigate it, have vehemently criticised the UK’s immigration policy. Both are of the opinion that its stringent nature is restricting our acquisition of the top talent from overseas.

The Financial Times reports that Professor Hamilton, speaking at his annual oration to the university, said that when he travelled abroad, “one question persists – why has the UK adopted a visa system so hostile to student entry?” It has become a well versed belief that the government’s desire to tighten the student visa system is detrimental to most universities’ ability to recruit gifted and economically valuable students.

He also goes on to add, “there are few votes in restricting overseas student numbers”, and that this realisation needs to be, “welcomed and encouraged ahead of the election.”

Nobel Prize Winner Professor John O’Keefe holds a similar opinion on UK immigration. Quoted in an article on the BBC, he suggests that, “we should be thinking hard about making Britain a more welcoming place.” He believes that the immigration rules are a genuine hindrance when it comes to hiring the best scientists worldwide.

“Science is international, the best scientists can come from anywhere, they can come from next door or they can come from a small village in a country anywhere in the world – we need to make it easier.”

The Home Office have suggested that the introduction of a new “exceptional talent” visa would facilitate the migration of “world leaders” in science to the UK. However, and similarly with the student visa route, the UK needs to become more welcoming and less hostile to the best overseas talent. There is little doubt that the immigration debate in the run up to next year’s election has begun….