UK migration committee proposes investor visa changes

On 25 February 2014, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the independent team of economists that advises the government on immigration policy, published its 100-page report on the Tier 1 investor visa, which focuses on whether the investment thresholds of the current scheme provide sufficient economic benefits to the UK. The MAC’s recommendations to the government include doubling the minimum UK investment to £2m and the introduction of an auction of visas to the highest bidders. At this stage, the recommendations are only proposals as we await the government’s response.

The Tier 1 investor route was established for high-net-worth individuals wishing to make a financial investment of at least £1m in the UK.

By maintaining a minimum £1m investment for at least five years, investors can be eligible for permanent residency. Since April 2011, investors have been able to achieve accelerated settlement in three years or two years by investing at least £5m or £10m into the UK respectively, although it is rare for investors to use this option as the acceleration does not apply to family members. Investors who want settlement are permitted absences from the UK of up to 180 days per year…

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