Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: HC1154 of 15 June 2018

The recently published Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: HC1154 of 15 June 2018, welcomed several changes and revisions, including changes relating to the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa category, namely the following:

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Tier 1 Investor Visa

The Tier 1 Investor visa category allows HNWIs to make a minimum investment of £2 million in the UK. The following changes are being made to this category:

Applicants may withdraw interest and dividend payments generated by their qualifying investments from their portfolios on a newly revised proviso that withdrawal is made only after the purchase date of the qualifying investment:

“The applicant may withdraw interest accrued and dividends declared after the date on which the applicant purchased the qualifying investments in the portfolio”, (paragraph 65C(c)(i), substitute)

 

Another more welcomed change is introduction of Paragraph 65-SD (a)(xi) of appendix A:

“(xii) confirmation that the portfolio is unencumbered and has no loans secured against it; and

(xiii) confirmation that none of the investments being relied on are prohibited by paragraph 65(a) to (f).”

 

The Applicant must submit investment reports that have been signed off by an FCA authorised financial institution, confirming that the funds have actually been invested in permitted qualifying investments. This revision places the onus on the investment firm, being completely savvy as to the Tier 1 Investor visa investment criteria, ensuring that the chosen investment funds adhere to the qualifying criteria and conditions, and also confirm that no loans have been secured against these investments.

The current Tier 1 Investor guidance states that applications that rely on leveraged investment funds, including the purchase of stocks or other investments by using borrowed funds (on margin) will not be approved.  As legal representatives, this change has been welcomed, as it adds more scrutiny on investment firms, ensuring that they are ‘bone fide’ in their investment dealings, acting in the interests of the applicant, conducting all the relevant due diligence required prior to investing applicant’s money, safeguarding applicant’s interest and deterring gluttonous and high risk investments.

Another important change worthwhile noting has been made to the fairly recently incorporated absences requirement. The general requirements for indefinite leave to remain under the Part 6A of the Immigration Rules as been superseded by the following changes: 

Paragraph 245AAA (a)(i), substitute:  

“(i) the applicant has not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days during any 12 month period in the continuous period, except that:

 (1) any absence from the UK for the purpose of assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas shall not count towards the 180 days, if the applicant provides evidence that this was the purpose of the absence(s) and that their Sponsor, if there was one, agreed to the absence(s) for that purpose; and

 (2) for any absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the Rules in place before 11 January 2018, the applicant must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days during each consecutive 12 month period, ending on the same date of the year as the date of the application for indefinite leave to remain.”

 

Paragraph 245AAA now provides specific clarification on the computation of absences, illustrating that this is not based on a per calendar year basis, but refers to 12 months from the actual date of application for indefinite leave to remain, therefore eliminating any ambiguity. 

For a full statement of changes please visit: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc1154-15-june-2018

Should you wish to speak to our legal advisors about these changes or the Tier 1 Investor visa, please contact Konstantin Kaminskiy at kk@astons.com.

 

Disclaimer: Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action based upon this information. Please do not disregard professional advice or delay in seeking advice because of something you have read on this website. Astons professionals will be pleased to discuss any specific questions you have.

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Astons is a global immigration advisory firm, specialising in UK immigration law, investor programmes for residence and citizenship, corporate immigration and property search and acquisition.