Abolition of Tier 1 (Investor) route

Two members of the House of Lords, Baroness Wamwee and Lord Wallace of Saltaire, have tabled an amendment to the 2015 Immigration Bill proposing the abolition of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category. The Tier 1 (Investor) visa requires investment of at least £2,000,000 into the UK via either government bonds of share capital in active trading companies. It is also the only visa that does not require applicants to have any English language skills.

The amendment states that the “Secretary of State must make rules which shall come into force no later
than 1 January 2017 . . . to close the Tier 1 (Investor) route . . .” and “to close applications to extend leave under Tier 1 (Investor) to applicants in the United Kingdom before 1 January 2017”. The amendment expressly states that the rights of individuals who already have, or will have a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, as at 1 January 2017 will not be effected.

No reasons are apparent from the text as to why abolition is being sought, but there has been much media speculation in recent years about the relationship between Tier 1 (Investor) route and money laundering.

It remains to be seen if the amendments will be carried through during the remainder of the 2015 Bill’s journey though Parliament.