UK residence is a still good bet for foreign investors despite Brexit
UK’s tier 1 investor scheme is attracting many wealthy individuals ready to part with over £2m to have a right to reside in the UK.
UK Tier 1 Visa applications (aka golden visas) from wealthy foreign citizens are on the rise, according to Collyer Bristow, a UK law company that offers foreign applicants advice and assistance with immigration procedures.
As the United States’ EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme (an analogue to British Tier 1 Visa) has been dragged into a controversial scandal involving high-end property developments and the president’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, many global investors have started looking elsewhere for a suitable Residence-by-Investment programme.
US EB-5 main customers – wealthy Chinese citizens – used to make almost 85% all granted visas under the programme. Now these number are in decline as Chinese are rerouting their applications and aspirations towards the UK.
According to Collyer Bristow report, 405 very wealthy overseas investors applied for Tier 1 Investor Visa in the 12 months prior to the end of March this year compared to 278 in the previous 12 months, which makes a 46% year on year increase.
Chinese investors made by far the biggest group – 123 applications (26% up from the previous year), followed by Russians – 52 (46% increase).
Brexit doesn’t scare off global investors, and the UK is still viewed as a safe country to put your money into. Throw into the mix UK residency and it makes it quite a compelling offer for globally minded individuals.
Tier 1 successful applicants can stay in the country for 40 months if they invest more than £2m or more in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
They can then either renew the visa or apply to settle after 2 years if they invest £10 million and after 3 years if they invest £5 million.
While for many global investors UK residence bears more value than UK citizenship due to the tax implications, they nevertheless can apply for the citizenship a year later after the settlement has been granted.