Sterling Law Influence Home Office’s Investor Visa Policy Change

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On 15 June 2018, the Home Office announced introduction of the new changes to the Immigration Rules which will affect a number of categories including Tier 1 Investor Visa.

The changes address our previous requests for clarification of the Immigration Rules. Owing to our persistence on getting the Home Office’s business helpdesk to clarify whether invested bonds from a bank loan can be used to score points as collateral for a further loan for a Tier 1 investor, the Home Office has now incorporated this into the new statement of changes.

It is, perhaps, not exactly the results that we hoped for when making a request on such a clarification, but the Home Office has been prompted due to our team’s unyielding actions to ensure that the scope of the Immigration Rules have everything covered.

Now, the answer to whether invested bonds from a bank loan can be used to score points as collateral is that it is not permissible for a migrant to use funds invested in bonds as collateral for further loans. The Home Office makes reference to paragraph 61A with the requirement of the money to be under the migrant’s control and therefore, excludes money that a loan has been secured against.

Thus, the following changes are introduced to the Tier 1 Investor Visa rules:

  • Applicants are required to maintain their investments. While the investors (applicants) may withdraw interest and dividend payments generated by their qualifying investments from their portfolios, they may not do so if these were generated before the applicant purchased the portfolio.
  • As evidence of their investment, applicants must currently submit portfolio reports signed off by a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A technical change is being made to require institutions to confirm that the funds have only been invested in qualifying investments, and that no loan has been secured against those funds.
  • This change will put a further obligation on financial firms to scrutinise the suitability of applicants’ investments, in addition to their own due diligence.

Aliya Rimshelis, Corporate Immigration Adviser, raised this issue before the Home Office on behalf of Sterling Law and assisted in filling a gap which previously existed.

These changes to the Immigration Rules will come into effect on 6 July 2018.

More information is available in the statement of changes.

For more details, please feel free contact our please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0)20 7822 8535, Mobile / Viber: +447463382838, by e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.