Applications for the UK Tier 1 Investor visa between March 2017 and 2018 rose by 46 per cent, signifying the program’s continued popularity.
Figures show the number of applications increased from 278 to 405 in the 12-month period, despite the recent tougher new rules introduced by the UK government.
In the time period, candidates from China, Russia and Turkey accounted for 199 of the applications, compared to 145 in the previous year.
An 85 per cent increase in applications from Turkish candidates can be put down to new rules restricting Turks from obtaining permanent residence abroad.
What Is The UK Tier 1 Investor Visa?
The investment immigration program grants a three-year initial visa, which can be extended for another two years, to applicants investing at least £2 million in eligible asset classes in the UK.
The program offers fast-track permanent residence and an eventual path to British citizenship for the wealthy applicants.
Why The Surge in Demand For The UK Tier 1 Investor Visa?
The crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia, China, and Turkey, and Russia’s deteriorating relations with the US may have prompted wealthy citizens of these countries to seek a safe haven.
With numerous calls for reform and revamp, the US EB-5 program is expected to become a costlier and tougher route for investment immigrants.
This may have contributed to surge in demand for the UK program.
The UK is a mature and developed economy and a good platform for those seeking to invest or do business at the global level.
Further, the country’s historic and cultural appeal coupled with its financial and educational system makes it a preferred immigration destination.
Risks That May Impact Investor Sentiment
There are some risks and irritants that can sour investment sentiment and impact demand for the program.
The program review that led to introduction of tougher disclosures for source of income does not seem to have impacted demand negatively.
However, frequent reviews and a lack of stability and clarity in regulations can hurt demand.
While proper due diligence is important, the government must ensure investor immigrants do not end up being deterred from exploring the UK Tier 1 Investor visa.
Another risk with potentially far-reaching consequences is the increased delay in the granting of visa renewals for Tier 1 Investor visa holders.
The visa, issued for a three-year period, can be renewed for another two years and further as long as the investment requirements are met.
Yet there have been frequent delays in renewals, especially in cases where applicants have invested in a wide range of assets through complicated corporate structures.
Is Brexit a Factor?
Finally, the risk of Brexit, although seemingly being ignored for now, is always looming.
A hard Brexit would muddle the economic outlook and compel the government to resort to ad-hoc rule changes.
Further, other programs, such as the golden visas offered by Portugal, Spain, and other EU nations, may seem more attractive to an investor seeking EU access.
Balancing security measures with creating an inviting environment will help the government protect the credibility and popularity of the UK’s investment immigration program.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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