2018 changes to UK Visa requirements

From 11 January 2018, a number of changes took effect with regard to the UK’s Immigration Rules. The good news is that requirements for a Tier 1 Investor Visa remain largely untouched. Investors, who applied for a visa before 6th of November 2014, will be able to rely on funds of the un-mortgaged private property, which is the applicant’s main home. In case the property is co-owned, the investor can rely only on his or her share.

With regard the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa the rules have not in themselves changed, however the new guidance clarifies and expands the previous wording. For example, the new wording seeks to prevent the ‘recycling’ of funds. Applicants can not rely on funds or investments that have been provided by another Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holder or his close family members. The question “who can be considered as close family member” will be considered individually. There is further detail on the requirements of any documentary evidence that is provided. The rules concerning creation of jobs for domestic workers have been clarified.

It is worth noting that in support of the changes announced in the Autumn Budget 2017, the number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas allocated annually is being doubled to 2,000. Of these the additional 1,000 visas will be held separately, in an unallocated pool draw on a first-come, first served basis.

Exceptional talent visa holders (but not exceptional promise visa holders) are also now permitted to qualify for indefinite leave to remain after three years.

Importantly, changes to individuals’ rights to the leave to remain should be noted. The requirement to have had absences from the UK of no more than 180 days per year in order to qualify for settlement, which currently applies to main applicants is being extended to partners of Points-Based System Migrants (this will include partners of Tier 1 (Investor), Tier 2 (Entrepreneur) and  Tier 2 (General) and (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrants).  However, absences from the UK during periods of leave made before 11 January 2018 will not count towards the 180 days.

As always we recommend that you make yourself familiar with any changes to the UK Tier 1 visa system.