The UK Tier-1 Investor visa ranks among the world’s most expensive investment immigration programs. Investors must deploy £2 million to £10 million for two to five years to qualify for indefinite leave to remain the UK.
Despite the high price tag, the UK golden visa program was very popular among the global elite.
Entrepreneurs and business persons benefitted by settling in one of the most developed markets in the world.
Further, the UK was a good choice in terms of educational and job prospects for children as well access to high standard of living for the entire family.
Steep Fall in Demand Since 2018
However, the visa has witnessed a sharp fall in demand since 2018. Reasons include:
- Brexit and subsequent uncertainty about the UK’s relationship with the EU,
- Policy uncertainty including a bizarre episode where the program was abruptly suspended only for the decision to be reversed in a few days,
- Frequent rule changes, and
- Concerns over the program being misused by wealthy Russians and Chinese to bypass immigration restrictions and settle in the UK.
The program had a good year in 2017 as the Brexit referendum led to 60 percent jump in number of applications as well as total investments compared to 2016.
However, demand stagnated in 2018 before collapsing in 2019. The Number of Tier-1 investor visa applications fell by four percent.
A cursory look at 2020 numbers indicates continuation of the decline. Number of applications fell by 55 percent in the first three quarters of 2020.
However, a closer look shows that 2020 may actually be the precursor for revival in demand. The third quarter of 2020 saw a 317 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in applications with the UK attracting investments worth £192 million despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further revival in demand is expected to trim the decline to just 34 percent for the entire 2020. In 2021, industry watchers are actually forecasting a jump in demand. Total applications are expected to jump by more than eight percent in 2021 and total Tier-1 Investor visa investments are likely to exceed £500 million.
Reasons for Revival
Despite no longer being an EU member, the UK will continue to attract golden visa investors because of the inherent advantages and benefits of the country. With Brexit negotiations done and dusted, investors have no more uncertainty to fear and this is likely to push up demand for the investor visa.
Further, there’s more clarity and stability as far as the rules are concerned, which is a big plus for investor sentiments. Tougher rules related to legal source of funds and admissibility is a long-term plus because it safeguards the program from political interventions.
Demand for investment immigration for moving out of the UK exceeds inward demand, although the coming year is likely to mark as the turning point. With the worst of the pandemic over, investors are likely to look to conventional factors when choosing a golden visa program and this is likely to work to the UK’s advantage in the years ahead.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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