Rahul Batra of Hudson McKenzie details the changes.
The written ministerial statement laid in the House of Commons on 16 October 2014 by James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Immigration and Security, and in the House of Lords by Lord Bates, outlined a number of changes to the UK Immigration Rules.
Tier 1 (Investor) Category – Investors must now invest more
As of 6 November 2014, the minimum investment threshold has been raised to £2m. However, any successful investor visa applicants that applied before that date are covered by the current £1m investment rules. New investors can no longer allocate 25% of their investment into UK assets. The entire £2m will need to be invested in UK trading companies, or UK government bonds (previously 75%). The loan option has also been removed and topping up of investments accounts are no longer required if the invested amount falls below the required level. However, if investments are sold, they will need to be replaced within the same reporting period. Yet another change is that entry clearance officers are being empowered to refuse investors if they have reasonable grounds to believe the funds were obtained unlawfully, or if they have concerns about the character and conduct of the party ‘providing the funds’ – this could extend to those gifting the funds to the investor.