Critical Changes to UK Visa requirements

The Home Office announced revisions to the Tier 1 (Investor) group that will commence from November 6 2014. These revisions will affect requests made from November 6. If you do not want to suffer from these revisions your request must be submitted before November 6.

The main revisions are as follows:
1. The amount of funds for investing is up from $1 million GBP to $2 million GBP.
2. The complete $2 million (or $5 million/$10 million for the increased paths to settlement) must be put in an investment (this used to be 75percent)
3. Top up stipulations have been removed
4. The option to make use of a UK bank facility to raise the investment money has been removed
5. The Home Office is now empowered to reject any initial requests and extension requests where:
a. The person applying is not in control of and at will to on his own make an investment
b. The funds in the custody of the person applying (which would also refer to if another person gave it), has been gotten through any means that is illegal in the UK or would soon be illegal in the UK
c. Where the funds have been given by another person (as a present) and the behavior, activities, or relationships of that person are not good for the people.

Before now, investors had to make a presentation that they had $1 million to invest in the UK. This has now been raised to $2 million.

Additionally, the Home Office now wants the full investment in the approved types of investment (these include UK government bonds, share capital and borrowed capital in commercial undertakings trading and registered in the UK). Before now, an investor could place in investment at least 75 percent in the stated investments and 25 percent in a UK property, cash placed in a UK bank and/or other kinds of UK investments. The condition to invest the funds completely also affects investors hoping to settle in the UK through the increased pathways where they have placed in investment $10 million or $5 million. They are now required to place in investment the entire amounts in nominated investments.

Presently, an investor must increase their investments in the UK by the following reporting time if they decline below the expected $1 million. This condition has now been discontinued and the investor is required to only increase if they dispose a part of their portfolio without making a profit. In that state, they will be required to replace the loss within the same reporting time by buying other approved investments. This revision does not affect investors who requested for their visa/residence permits before the 6 November 2014 so they are not going to take advantage of this revision.

This is the more contentious revision and it was not expected. It permits the Home Office to conduct a subjective test of the source of the money simply by assessing the behavior and attitude of the person applying and the person who gave his the money. No one knows for now how this evaluation would be conducted. More details would be given in the Tier 1 (Investor) Law guidance which should be upgraded by October ending. It is probable that the Home Office would have the authority to ask for more proof from applicants to reveal their control over the money and also as to where it came from.

The purpose is to reveal money from illegal sources and to deny certain people from applying (for instance politically exposed people). The control of money issue could also affect money given to domestic workers to help them acquire an investor visa so they can meet their employer in the UK

The foreign domestic worker visa is limited to a maximum time of 6 months and is acquired where the worker’s employer is not living in the UK. Presently, there is no restriction on the employee requesting for a further visa once the initial one has expired. However, the Home Office plans to stop spplicstions for visa within a short period of time and they will announce revisions from November 6 that mean domestic employees will not be opportune to make use of this visa for regular and long periods of residence.

The Home Office has made an addition to the least investment and has requested the complete investment be made without broadening the approved types of investments. This means that investors have little areas of operation to expand their selected portfolio. The Home Office confirmed that they are still reviewing making revisions to the approved investments and they continue to discuss on it. We will be taking part in this discussion so kindly inform us if you would want us to enquire on anything for you. This means there may be more revisions next year, perhaps to be broadcast in April 2015.