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Record number of Tier 1 Investor Visas Issued

The Office of National of Statistics (ONS) released the number of Tier 1 Investor applications that they have received so far in 2017.

In total this was 85 applications, which was an increase from 2016, when there was a total of 40 applications.

Many people believe that following Brexit, the number of migrants in general coming to the UK will significantly decrease. Whilst we know that EU migrants are deciding to leave and Brexit may discourage many migrants and businesses from coming to the UK, it also appears that Tier 1 Investor visas are still in demand.

The reasons for the UK becoming a less attractive location for international companies and migrants is the loss of free movement of goods and services, which is one of the benefits of being a part of the Single Market. Further, there are other Citizenship programs, within the EU such as in Malta and Cyprus, which would allow the applicant to have access to the entire Single Market, so the UK as an investment might appeal to them less.

On the other hand, it might be argued that persons who have been investing in Malta and Cyprus to date to obtain EU passports, were attracted to doing so as they would have had access to the UK and other strong EU Member States. If investing in Malta and Cyprus would not grant the applicant access to the UK, they might be tempted to invest directly into the UK to obtain a Tier 1 Investor visa.

Today’s data from the ONS also shows that the bulk of applications this year have come from China and Russia, which have made up the bulk of applications since 2015. However, the data shows that there has also been a huge increase from 2015 to present of applicants from India, Turkey, Canada and the USA.

This shows that at least temporarily, investors are still being drawn to the UK, despite the looming threat of Brexit. The past 12 months’ worth data post the British referendum shows a 68% increase in Tier 1 Investor Visa applicants, compared to the preceding 12-month period. We should be assured that Britain remains open for business and attractive to investors.

Sassa Karakatsianis, Immigration Specialist

September 12, 2017

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