The Government has announced that as from 6 April 2015, applicants applying under Tier 1 (Investor) will need to have opened a UK-regulated investment account before submitting their initial application. This will of course mean that many applicants will need to visit the UK before making their application in order to open an account. The Government’s position is that this change will ensure that UK banks carry out due diligence checks on investors before they apply, not after.
We have long been advising our Tier 1 (Investor) clients to invest funds in the UK prior to obtaining a visa, where possible, in order to both simplify the visa application process and avoid the risk of being unable to arrange the specified investments within the three month period following the grant of the visa or date of entry (as relevant).
The Government has also clarified the rules on maintaining the investment amount. Those with Tier 1 (Investor) status will no longer need to invest additional capital if they sell part of their investments at a loss, but they will be required to maintain all their capital within their investment portfolios. Buying and selling investments will continue to be permitted providing the investor does not withdraw any capital. The Government has stated that this change is to remove an unintended incentive for investors to invest in UK Government bonds rather than to invest in UK companies.
Finally, the Government is removing the ability for those who are 16 or 17 years old to apply for Tier 1 (Investor) status.
We are experienced in helping clients secure Tier 1 (Investor) status and have a 100% success record. If you need legal advice, please contact us.