The British government has quietly dropped plans to suspend the Tier 1 Investor Visa route in the UK. In recent months there has been increasing pressure on the UK to do something about these so-called golden visas after it emerged that a significant number of Russian oligarchs had used the visa scheme as a backdoor into the UK. The scheme has been criticised in the past for allowing less than desirable characters to enter the UK. In many cases it's been asserted that the visas had been used to assist criminals to launder money.
For those with a minimum of £2 million to invest in the UK, the Tier 1 Investor Visa is a great option for those looking to move to the country in order to make investments. But the generosity of the visa has allowed criminal elements to make the most of it and move to the UK in order to continue their illegal activities. On the suspension Immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: The UK will always be open to legitimate and genuine investors who are committed to helping our economy and businesses grow. However, I have been clear that we will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system. That is why I am bringing forward these new measures which will make sure that only genuine investors, who intend to support UK businesses, can benefit from our immigration system.
The suspension, and then the quiet dropping of it, are yet again another worrying own goal for the beleaguered Home Office. In recent months there has been a raft of immigration changes that certainly appear to have been made at very short notice. The decision to suspend the Tier 1 Investor Visa though appears to be one of the more dramatic and poorly thought through. Whilst it is appreciated that the route is very generous and allows for the possibility of abuse, it is also significantly useful to the country. The visa attracts significant inward investment and allows British businesses to grow. With Brexit on the horizon, the UK will need all of the inward investment it can get.
There are concerns that the decision to suspend the Tier 1 Investor Visa route is politically motivated; in recent months the current Conservative government has become increasingly open about trying to reduce migration and has leveraged this somewhat in order to keep its Brexit plans on track. With the country facing such a chaotic immigration future, decisions such as this will not help to encourage wealthy investors to the UK. This decision could add to the UK's problems rather than take away from them.
The future is now unclear for the Tier 1 Investor Visa route. The government's quick change of mind is symbolic of a government that is increasingly making knee jerk reaction decisions. This will not help to build confidence in the British economy and will in all likelihood send investors elsewhere. With Britain's European neighbours very much open for business, the UK is going to need to find a competitive edge and quickly to ensure that investors continue to travel to the country in order to invest.
The Brexit chaos is increasingly dominating the political discourse in the UK. The surprise decision in 2016 of the UK to leave the European Union has caused shockwaves ever since. Brexit has led to a significant lack of trust in the British economy which has ensured that the value of the pound has remained low. The pound's low value has caused price rises in the UK and is likely to force the Bank of England to start raising interest rates. This effect could be significantly compounded when the UK does leave the European Union if it then needs to begin paying large tariffs on imported goods from the European Union.
The decision by MPs to reject Theresa May's exit deal from the European Union has caused yet more uncertainty in the British economy. It has also caused other European leaders to take a strict line with Britain. In recent days French president Emmanuel Macron has noted how the British Public will be the biggest losers when it comes to Brexit. He also noted that the British public have been sold a lie by the government who continue to insist that a better deal is possible in negotiations between Britain and the European Union.
It certainly appears of Britain is on the precipice. One step in the wrong direction and one of the world's largest economies could be in huge trouble. What this means for Tier 1 Investor Visa applicants is unclear. Of course uncertainty means that the markets may be rattled and this in itself will produce potential problems as well as potential opportunities. The one thing to keep in mind is Britain's resilience, in all likelihood no matter what happens, the British economy will survive and continue to thrive. But for now the only certainty in Britain is indeed uncertainty. For brave investors this means there may be opportunities like never before, but that is likely to be a select few. if the government wants to continue inward investment into the UK, it needs to stop playing party politics and make the process and its intentions significantly clearer
Do you need help or advice with a Tier 1 Investor Visa query? Get in touch today and our experienced immigration solicitors can help you to decide whether coming to the UK is the right step for you - If it is, they can give you the most appropriate and up-to-date information on making your application and can give you help and advice on all facets of immigration law. Take your first step towards your move to the UK today by getting in touch.
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