The UK Government has permanently closed the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa route for foreign nationals.
The closure took effect from 4pm 17 February 2022, and applies to all new investor visa applications from applicants of all nationalities.
Statement of Changes
In its statement, the Home Office advised that the visa route had been “under constant review” and that the closure was a decision by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, in response to “security concerns, including people acquiring their wealth illegitimately and being associated with wider corruption”.
The changes were reflected in a 12-page statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (CP 632), published this afternoon. The accompanying explanatory memorandum states: “The Government considers this departure from that convention to be necessary and proportionate for reasons of national security and the operation of the immigration system, and to be consistent with the purpose of the closure of the Tier 1 (Investor) route to new applicants”.
The findings of the Home Office review into all Tier 1 Investor visas granted between its start date in 2008 up to 5 April 2015 when the route was reformed, are expected to be published in due course.
Innovator route reform
With the investor visa no longer available to foreign nationals, the Home Office has advised that the existing Innovator route is to be reformed “to provide an ambitious investment route which works more effectively in support of the UK’s economy”.
Settlement is to 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 Office statement added.
Alternatives to the UK investor visa
As an alternative to the UK investor visa, we can support with applications for the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), which offers residency in Ireland, as well as a path to Irish citizenship and to an Irish (EU) passport.
If you have a question about the closure of the investor visa, or the immigration options to invest in UK-based enterprises, contact our business immigration specialists.
Last updated: 17 February 2022