Tier 1 Investment Visa Numbers Plummet
The doubling of the investment requirement for a Tier 1 investment visa from £1 million to £2 million and a reduction in tax benefits for so-called non-doms have caused a dramatic reduction in the number of high net worth migrants applying for UK residency. The increase in the investment level came into effect in November 2014, since when the rate of application has been dramatic.
Figures released by the Home Office for the second quarter of 2015 show a reduction of 82% by comparison with the same period in 2014. The figures may be somewhat exaggerated by the surge in applications that took place in anticipation of the rise last year, but even allowing for that distortion, the reduction in applications is marked. Applications are currently at their lowest since 2010.
Between April and June, 2015 (Q2), only 44 applications for Tier 1 investment visas were received. The corresponding level for Q2 2014 was 251. Likewise, just 58 applications were received in 2015 (Q1). Clearly, the UK has become a less attractive destination for high net worth migrants. Notably, the pattern in the UK is mirrored in Australia where a similar increase in the investment level was introduced in July.
With the ongoing political question of the UK’s place in the EU still unresolved, the availability of EU qualifying investment schemes elsewhere in Europe is also a factor. The long-term value of a British passport cannot be guaranteed to match that of a more fully integrated European nation. Additionally – and perhaps more immediately relevant – many of those schemes require considerably lower investment levels than the UK’s £2 million.
With any EU passport guaranteeing residency and working rights across the EU, migrants are becoming increasingly aware that the country of issue is not necessarily the key criteria. For example, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal are all currently offering schemes which are the equivalent of the UK’s Tier 1 investment scheme but which also demand a far lower investment level, more favourable tax treatments and a faster application process.
YDVISAS has team of specialist lawyers. If you are unsure on your Tier 1 Investor Visa and need professional help, please Contact Us. One of our expert immigration lawyers will handle your case from start to end.