Significant changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) route were announced and came into force from 29 March 2019. This route enables high net worth individuals to live in the UK provided they invest a minimum of £2 million of their own funds into specified UK investments.
Previously, potential investors needed to have held the funds of at least £2 million for 90 days prior to applying for the visa or otherwise provide evidence of the source of their funds. This 90-day period has now been extended to 2 years. In practice, this is likely to mean that the majority of applicants under Tier 1 (Investor) will need to provide evidence of the source of their funds as part of the visa application.
Another change is that UK gilts/government bonds will no longer count as qualifying investments under the category. In addition, banks will now need to provide a letter confirming both that a FCA-regulated UK bank account has been opened and that the bank has completed all of the relevant due diligence and Know your client checks.
There are transitional arrangements for those who obtained their Tier 1 (Investor) visas before 29 March 2019 to ensure they are not unfairly affected by the changes that have been introduced after they entered the category.