The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the independent body that advises the UK government on immigration matters, has recently published a report on the Tier 1 (Investor) category of the Points-Based System. The UK government usually follows the MAC’s recommendations and therefore this is an important insight into forthcoming changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) category.
Key parts of the MAC’s recommendations include:
1. The current minimum threshold of £1 million for an investor visa be increased to £2 million.
2. The current restrictions on permissible investment instruments be relaxed so as to permit wider investment activity.
3. The “topping up rule” be removed which, in turn, would mean that the requirement to provide quarterly valuations would no longer be necessary.
4. The “premium” route, offering accelerated settlement for applicants, remain but residence requirements for such applicants be relaxed, such that the individual need only be resident in the UK for a period of 90 days per annum, rather than 185 days as is currently the case.
5. “Premium” visas should be limited (for example 100 a year) with interested applicants invited to submit a single, sealed bid for those visas, with a reserve price of £2.5 million.
Individuals considering applying for an investor visa are therefore advised to apply sooner rather than later as the above recommendations could be implemented within weeks, if not days, by the UK government.