Changes To Tier 1 Visa Effective 6 April 2015

Tier 1 (Investor)

  • Tier 1 (Investor) initial applicants will be required to open a UK-regulated bank account prior to submitting their application;
  • the minimum age for migrants in this category will also increase from 16 to 18; and
  • the attempt to remove the “topping up” requirement in the 6 November 2014 Rule changes is being refined to provide that Tier 1 investors will no longer need to invest additional funds if they sell investments that have reduced in value; they need only reinvest the sale price of the investments to maintain the minimum £2 million investment. However, this will equally mean that investments sold at a gain must be reinvested in the UK.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

  • an expansion of the “genuine entrepreneur” test to extension and indefinite leave to remain (ILR) applications. (This is likely to result in a significant increase in refusals and entrepreneurs should plan ahead to ensure they should satisfy these tests);
  • applicants who have held the qualifying funds for fewer than 90 days prior to the date of the application, must provide evidence of all third-party sources of those funds; and
  • submission of a business plan (outlining the proposed business activities in the UK and how the applicant expects to make the business succeed) will be mandatory.

Tier 1 (General)

Tier 1 (General) will be closed to new extension applications from 6 April 2015. Any applicant wishing to extend leave to remain in this category must do so before that date. The route will additionally close for indefinite leave to remain applications in April 2018.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants are currently granted leave to enter/remain for 5 years. From 6 April 2015 such applicants may choose the period they wish to be granted in one-year increments for up to the maximum 5 years/5 years, 4 months. This change is being introduced to prevent Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants intending to be in the UK for shorter periods to be subject to the new NHS surcharge for the maximum period.

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