Immigration alert: Tier 1 (Investor) visa scheme has not been suspended

12 December 2018

Following our update on the suspension of the Tier 1 (Investor) route on 6 December 2018, click here for a link, the Home Office has since reversed its decision to suspend the route less than a week after announcing it would close it, over concerns about money-laundering. The surprise reversal on Tuesday 11 December came after the Home Office had received a letter from the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA), warning that the suspension of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route was illegal and would lead to a legal challenge. Press reports have also stated that the Home Office had come under pressure from other government departments to reverse the decision.

In a letter to ILPA on 11 December, the Home Office said the Tier 1 (Investor) visa is not currently suspended. However, the Government remains committed to reforming the route. A further announcement will be made in due course. Any suspension would be implemented through changes to the Immigration Rules.

The Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, also issued a written statement to Parliament on 6 December stating the Tier 1 (Investor) route would be reformed in the Spring of 2019.

It is therefore unlikely that any suspension will come into effect until new Immigration Rules are introduced in the Spring, most likely with the usual April changes to the Rules.

What does this mean for prospective investor visa applicants?

Prospective visa applicants who were planning to make their applications  can continue to make their applications in the usual way until such time as the rules are changed. In light of the government statements, applicants should be prepared to provide additional details of the source of their funds which the UKVI are currently already entitled to request under the existing investor rules.

If you have any queries please contact the immigration team.

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