The UK’s Tier One “Investor Visa”, which gave wealthy immigrant investors the opportunity to live in the UK for an investment of £2 million and above in qualifying UK assets, was suspended without warning on the 17th February 2022, with immediate effect.
Those persons holding the Investor Visa already, or those with pending applications, will remain eligible to extend their Visa until February 17, 2026 and, if eligible, to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) until February 17, 2028.
Why was the Investor Visa so popular?
The UK Investor Visa has been a popular choice for wealthy immigrants because the UK offers the opportunity of a stable, business-friendly and safe environment for families, coupled with attractive tax breaks for temporary immigrants who can claim “UK resident but not domiciled in the UK” status (RND). Those with RND status can claim the “remittance basis” for up to 15 tax years, broadly meaning that UK sources of income and gains are taxed as they arise and foreign sources of income and gains are only taxed to the extent that they are remitted to the UK. Careful planning can result in a very low effective rate of tax in the UK. The step to restrict inward passive investment is not welcome as there are other countries which continue to offer similar residency and tax packages.
What is the alternative?
Nevertheless, other active investment categories of Visa remain open, which are considerably cheaper than the Investor Visa, as they require less inward investment. These categories are concerned with establishing a trading business in the UK and connected to job creation. Those wealthy investors not wishing to be involved in the day to day management of a UK business can delegate some of these responsibilities to businesses, such as Nightingale Private Office, our sister company, which can deal with the daily management.
Foreign investors and their advisers wishing to hear more about their options can contact us here.