Surge in Investor Visas

According to figures recently released by the UKBA, the number of Tier 1 Investor Visas issued over the last 12 months, has dramatically increased. Visas issued to Chinese citizens jumped from 95 to 171, for Americans from 19 to 66 and for Russians from 99 to 125, according to a Freedom of Information Request.

Tier 1 Investor Visas allow migrants to invest £1 million, £5 million or £10 million in government bonds or British business. An advantage of this visa category is that there is no English language requirement (as is the case for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas).

The Migration Advisory Committee has reported that most Tier 1 Investors are investing in government-issued gilts, which are a low risk form of investment, and which will help the individual maintain the £1 million fund requirement.

The length of the visa is five years (unless the applicant invests £5 million or £10 million) and it has been reported that the Investors are holding the gilts for five years and then selling them when the time comes to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Due to the relatively stable nature of the UK’s economy and the fact that the government does not interfere in private individuals’ investments, investors from countries such as China and Russia are viewing the UK as a favourable investment destination. Chinese investors represent the largest group of all successful applications, accounting for 32% of all investor visas issued this year. Investors from the USA received 12% of all visas issued.

Given the recent surge, we envisage by this time next year, there will be further increases in this popular category. We would be happy to assist you with your visa needs, whether they be at an Investor, Entrepreneur or employment-linked level.