The following changes to the Immigration Rules affect Tier 1 (Investors), Tier 1 (entrepreneurs), and Tier 2 Applicants, and will take effect from 6th November 2014:
Tier 1 (Investors)
The minimum investment threshold for those applying for leave to enter or remain in the UK as Tier 1 (Investor) migrants will be raised from £1 to £2 million. The top- up requirement has been removed, which should encourage investment by introducing a level of flexibility.
In addition, a change is being made to require the full investment sum (£2 million) to be invested in prescribed forms of investments (share or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies, or UK Government bonds), rather than 75% of the sum as currently required.
Funds can no longer be sourced by way of a loan.
The government will consult further on what future investments should be permitted, in order to deliver the best economic benefits to the UK.
It is important to note that transitional arrangements are being applied, so that Tier 1 (Investor) migrants currently in the UK under this category will not be subject to the changed requirements when applying for extensions or for indefinite leave to remain.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs)
From 6th November 2014, those applying in the UK must prove that the investment funds are held in the UK. Those applying for the accelerated route for Indefinite Leave to Remain will be required to show they have invested their funds as required by the rules.
The Home Office will have the power to assess whether a genuine vacancy exists. Entry Certificate Officers and Caseworkers will have this option if there are reasonable grounds to believe either that the job offer does not genuinely exist, or that it has been exaggerated to meet the Tier 2 skills threshold, or has been tailored to exclude resident workers, or where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant is not qualified to do the job. In addition, migrants cannot be sponsored to fill a position for a third party who is not the sponsor.
Applicants whose leave expired no more than 28 days before they make their extension application will be exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test, if they are continuing to work in the same role with the same employer.
Those entering the UK for private medical treatment can have their visa extended from 6 to 11 months where their treatment is likely to take longer than six months. Other new permitted activities have been added to the Business Visitor category.