On Friday 17 February 2022, the UK government closed the Tier 1 (Investor) route with immediate effect citing ‘security concerns’ and ‘wider corruption’.
Following widespread media reports suggesting that the route would be closed, the legal mechanism to bring it to an end, Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (CP 632), was published without notice on 17 February.
The Statement confirmed that the route would close to new applicants from 4pm on that day.
The explanatory notes to the Statement state that:
“The effect of this Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules is to close the Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant route, as set out in Part 6A of the Immigration Rules, to new applications. These changes preserve the ability of those who already have leave to enter or remain as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant to extend their stay in the route, including an applicant’s ability to make an application for entry clearance outside the UK if they have held leave as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant in the 12 month period preceding the date of application, and to apply for settlement.”
The Rules confirm that applications for permission to stay in the UK for those who already hold Tier 1 (Investor) visas must be made before 17 February 2026. Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain under the route must be made before 17 February 2028.
Preventing a “closing down sale” is the explanation provided in the explanatory notes for not giving the standard 21 days’ notice to Parliament before changes to the Immigration Rules come into force.
The Home Secretary explained that the move is part of the government’s plan to ‘crackdown on fraud and illicit finance’. The Home Office press release stated that the route has given rise to ‘security concerns, including people acquiring their wealth illegitimately and being associated with wider corruption’.
The press release also stated that:
“The introduction of the points-based immigration system has allowed us to target investors we want in the country. Improvements will be made to the Innovator visa route to support this.
Settlement will now be conditional on applicants executing an investment strategy that can show genuine job creation and other tangible economic impacts, passively holding UK investments will no longer be enough to obtain settlement. ”
The Home Secretary has been asked to reconsider the closure of the route and if there are any developments, we will provide an update on our website.
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