Investment in share capital or loan capital in active trading companies will no longer be a valid route to obtain permanent residency in the United Kingdom.
The UK’s Home Office has declared that some cases implied “security concerns” related to corrupt elites and owners of illicit funds.
This happened right after the Home Office performed a review on all applications granted within a time period of seven years —from 2008 to 2015, when the Tier 1 Investor Visa route was reformed.
Home Secretary Priti Patel described this practice as an “abuse of our immigration system” and said to have “zero tolerance” to it. In fact, the Home Office proceeded to immediately shut down all applications for the scheme on February 17th, 2022.
“Closing this route is just the start of our renewed crackdown on fraud and illicit finance,” said Priti Patel, who announced a New Plan for Immigration in May 2021. “We will be publishing a fraud action plan, while the forthcoming Economic Crime Bill will crackdown on people abusing our financial institutions and better protect the taxpayer”.
In the same statement, the Home Office of the United Kingdom announced that it had plans to modify the Innovator visa scheme —part of the new point-based immigration system— to attract another kind of foreign investors, “the one that we want in the country”.
The Innovator visa route allows foreign business men and women with innovative ideas to qualify for a 3-year-long residence permit. To avoid further abuses of the scheme, the Home Office intends to eliminate passive investment in the UK and provide settlement only to applicants with a feasible business strategy focused on job creation and other tangible economic effects.
Other routes in the new points-based immigration system include the Skilled Worker route, the Global Talent route (a fast track STEM scheme), the Graduate route (for international students), the Sporting route (for international sportspeople with active job offers in the UK), etc.