The number of Tier 1 investor visas issued in the UK has fallen by 44% to 219 in the last year, down from 394 the year before according to Shard Capital. Undoubtedly the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions have affected this sudden fall in figures.
Brexit and the pandemic could have a lasting effect on the future of investor visa programmes, but how will the UK’s Tier 1 Investor Visa help those from the EU wishing to reside in the UK?
Due to the flexibility of the Tier 1 investor visa, it could possibly become the most popular option for EU and Swiss high net worth (HNW) individuals in the near future. Whilst those residing in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for status under the free EU Settlement Scheme, new entrants to the UK will need to apply for a visa following the UK’s immigration rules. In addition, EU and Swiss nationals who are required to or wish to travel frequently, may find that the residency requirements of the pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme do not work for them. Although the residency requirements for settlement under both routes are similar, the pre-settled status cannot be renewed, unlike the investor visa. The investor route would offer that flexibility to many applicants and those that wish to receive the privileges and opportunities that the UK has to offer.
Applicants who are not from the EU who would previously have considered obtaining a similar investor visa from Cyprus or Malta in order to benefit from EU citizenship and the freedom of movement, and who primarily wished to move to the UK, would now need to consider the UK investor visa rather than the cheaper alternatives elsewhere.
As the vaccine rollout here in the UK resonates with foreign investors and those wishing to move, the UK will be appealing to many HNWs from the EU and around the world. Whether it’s for business, political, familial or tax reasons, residency and citizenship are complicated – things change constantly, and individual circumstances make huge differences. UK Welcome™, as part of Knightsbridge Wealth, has teamed up with a significant team of exceptional accountants and lawyers to ensure Tier 1 Investor Visa applicants receive the best advice, based on their unique circumstances. The UK today has one of the best passports in the world. The Tier 1 Investor Visa scheme promises a UK passport that offers visa-free travel to 173 countries. It also guarantees access to some of the best education in the world and offers a secure environment for families. If you are thinking about your family’s future being in the UK, get in touch with our team!