Partner Hazar El-Chamaa, who heads Penningtons Manches’ private wealth immigration offering, has commented on the latest Tier 1 investor visa figures in Wealthbriefing, the premier news and information source for the global wealth management sector.
The recently released data shows that interest in this type of visa remains strong despite Brexit-related fears: the number of high- and ultra-high net worth persons coming to live in the UK under this visa rose 40 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March, totalling 248.
Tier 1 investor visas are granted to individuals who invest at least £2 million in the UK and pass certain due diligence checks. The minimum investment amount was increased from £1 million in 2014, which led to a sharp decline in take-up. The change has also coincided with tighter rules on non-domiciled residents, changes in the tax treatment of foreign-owned real estate, as well as worries around Brexit.
Commenting on the figures, Hazar said: "We are seeing a revival of the Tier 1 Investor visa category with an increase in instructions from HNW clients seeking to come under this route. This is reflected by the ONS figures. The figures are still well below those of 2014 when the initial investment threshold was £1 million, instead of the current £2 million, but it’s a promising sign.”
She added: “We believe the increase can be attributed to Brexit given the dramatic drop in the pound and the loss of appeal of the alternative route of the European citizenship by investment programmes. The latter has been impacted by the fact that the status of EU nationals, especially those who arrived/arriving in the UK post 29 March 2017, remains uncertain.”
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