The UK’s Investor Visa actually gained popularity after the Brexit vote causing a surge in applications in the months following the referendum. This is the exact opposite effect that was intended by the separation in the first place – to limit immigration to the UK. In the three months after Brexit was announced, applications increased by 61% in 2016 over the same period in 2015. Wealthy foreigners were quick to take advantage of the current immigration rules before anticipated stricter rules came into force.
When comparing the pre-referendum quarter to the post-referendum quarter in 2016, applications rose from 53 to 74. The weaker pound caused by Brexit hysteria also made the UK more attractive to foreign investors. Reducing immigration was one of the main concerns of those who voted in favor of the Leave. The UK’s former Prime Minister, David Cameron, along with the former home secretary, Theresa May, both promised to reduce and limit immigration.
The UK’s Tier 1 Investor Visa Program allows foreign nationals to obtain temporary residency in the UK in exchange for a £2 million investment into the nation’s economy. The initial visa is valid for a period of three years and four months, with a possibility of a two-year extension thereafter. Visa applications are processed in just a few short weeks.
Applicants can invest in UK government bonds or active UK registered companies. Unlike other European investor visa schemes, however, investment in property or property development is prohibited by the program.
Those who have resided in the UK for a period of five years can apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residency). Applicants through the Tier 1 Visa Program have the option of increasing their investment amounts in order to apply for their Leave to Remain sooner. Those who choose to invest £10 million can apply to settle after only two years, and those who invest £5 million can do so after three years.
The UK has long been a popular destination for high net worth foreign nationals, being one of the world’s economic powerhouses with a stable political climate. The decrease in the value of the pound has created a window of opportunity for wealthy investors. As tightened immigration rules are probable once Brexit is finalized, even more Tier 1 applications are predicted for 2017.
For more information on UK’s Tier 1 Investor Visa Program, please click here.
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