Further to our previous news article on the Tier 2 changes brought in by the Statement of Changes, we provide a useful outline of the changes to the Tier 1 category. Individuals applying in a Tier 1 sub-category should be made aware the following points:
Closing Tier 1 General route for extension applications, as announced in March last year
The Tier 1 General category, in which applicants scored points for qualifications, previous earnings, age and UK experience, was closed to initial applications in April 2011. The category for extension application is now also closing with effect from 5th April 2015. In future, the route to settlement in this category will also close from April 2018.
Removing the ability of Tier 1 General migrants to switch into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route
A further change has also been made to restrict Tier 1 General migrants from switching into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category, unless they have already established a UK business before 6th April 2015. The other exception will be where they have secured funding from a government department or endorsed seed funding competition prior to this date.
Expanding the use of ‘genuineness’ tests in the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route to those applying for extensions or indefinite leave to remain
The Home Office will expand the application of the genuineness test in the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route to applications for extensions and indefinite leave to remain. The change is intended to protect the route against abuse without having a detrimental effect on genuine applicants. This is similar to the ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test introduced for initial applications in January 2013.
Requiring prospective Tier 1 Investor applicants to open a UK-regulated investment account before making an initial application
This category caters for high net worth individuals making an investment of at least £2 million into the UK. There will now be a new requirement that applicants must open a UK-regulated investment account before making an initial application. This is to ensure UK banks carry out due diligence checks before the applicant makes their application for Entry Clearance.
Changes to the requirement for Tier 1 Investors to maintain their investments
Tier 1 Investor applicants will no longer need to invest additional capital if they sell part of their investments at a loss. Buying and selling investments is still permitted, so long as the investor does not withdraw any capital. This change is intended to remove the incentive to invest in UK government bonds rather than in UK companies.
If you have any queries or concerns about any of the changes, please contact us.