Tier 1 (Investor): The changes for Tier 1 (Investors) are not very substantial. Notably, no recommendations of the recent Migration Advisory Report have been brought forward at this stage. Changes to this category are now anticipated to come later this year. However, on 21 April 2014, the Home Affairs Select Committee published its own report recommending suspension of this route.
The Select Committee’s report said that it is 'perturbed' by aspects of the Migration Advisory Report, but recommended that the Home Office suspend the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route completely while the Government considers changes in light of it. Immigration routes can be closed without notice, usually where abuse has been found. However, we await the Government’s response to this - for now the Tier 1 (Investor) route remains open. Anyone who wishes to make an application as a Tier 1 (Investor) under the current scheme should arrange to do so as soon as possible.
The changes set to come in on 6 April 2014 are:
- a new provision allowing migrants to make their investment outside the normal three month time limit where there are exceptionally compelling reasons, which were unforeseeable and outside the migrant’s control (although investors who do not invest within the first three months may still have their leave curtailed and will have to wait for longer before they become eligible to apply for settlement);
- minor changes to the documentary requirements for accounts, where these are required; and
- introduction of a minimum age of 16 years for Tier 1 (Investor) applicants, together with the need for parental support for applicants aged under 18.