Overseas nationals seeking to secure a UK visa via the Tier 1 investor route are being reminded that they only have until November 6 to do so under the current rules.
After that, the minimum investment requirement will increase from the present £1 million to £2 million. The full amount must be invested in ‘permissible’ investments, rather than the 75 per cent required at the moment, and people looking to use this route to live in the UK will not be allowed to cover their investment by taking out a loan.
The new system also sweeps away with the need to top up the investment if it falls below the minimum during the visa application period.
The current rules will continue to apply until November 6 this year but people already living in the UK on a Tier 1 investment visa will continue to be governed by the old system. That means they can continue to invest a quarter of their minimum investment into assets such as property or hold it in a bank account, rather than putting the full amount into government bonds and the other permissible investments.
Although the minimum investment sum has doubled, the scheme is still expected to attract a number of high net worth people keen to settle in the UK.
During 2014, figures show that Chinese nationals made up the biggest proportion of people using this route to secure British citizenship. They accounted for a total of 43 per cent of all the Tier 1 visas handed out last year.
The scheme was originally introduced in 2008 and the changes that come into force later this year were announced by the Home Office in February.