£1 Million Tier 1 (Investor) Route To Close
In the Statement of Changes of 7 March 2019, the headlines were mostly taken by the closure of the Entrepreneur category and the new two-year requirement for Investment funds for Investors who are wishing to enter the category for the first time. However, there are some other changes announced within this document that could have significant effects on the long term plans of some individuals who are already in the UK, including the closure of the £1 million Tier 1 (Investor) route.
Closure of the £1 million Tier 1 (Investor) route
For applicants who applied to enter the Tier 1 (Investor) category prior to 6 November 2014, they were able to take advantage of a lower investment threshold of just £1 million, before the increase to £2 million. Until now, the Rules have had transitional arrangements in place to allow individuals who entered under these old rules to continue to extend their leave relying on the lower investment threshold.
The Explanatory Memorandum to the 7 March 2019 Statement of Changes explains that:
Transitional arrangements, for applicants who entered the category under the rules in place before 13 December 2012 or 6 November 2014, will shortly no longer be needed as these applicants will have had sufficient time to qualify for settlement. Changes are being made to give notice and close these arrangements from 6 April 2020, and 6 April 2022 in the case of settlement applications relating to the 2014 transitional arrangement.
This means that anyone who wishes to apply for settlement in the £1 million route must ensure that their application is made by 6 April 2022.
The Explanatory Memorandum anticipates that the category will not be needed by this time, as applicants will have had sufficient time to get to settlement. However, this may not be the case for all Investors. Due to the residence requirements which apply to settlement applications, but which do not apply to extension applications, there may be individuals who were intending to continue to extend their stay in the UK, without settling, who may now need to change their plans.
What is particularly of concern is that the category will now close in three years time. While an individual may be able to carefully monitor their travel outside of the UK over this next three year period to ensure compliance with the rules for settlement going forward, if they have not also kept their absences from the UK under 180 days in the two years prior to this announcement, they could find themselves unable to settle or extend their stay in 2022 when the route is closed.
The Explanatory Memorandum does not state if there will be any specific provision to account for individuals in these circumstances. Anyone who remains in the £1 million investor route, should therefore be careful to check their absences in good time before making their next application and give some consideration to preparing for an English and Life in the UK test.
Contact Our Investor Immigration Barristers
For expert advice in relation to an application for entry clearance, extension of stay or settlement as a Tier 1 (Investor), contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via our enquiry form below.