In February 2022, the Tier 1 program was completely frozen due to suspicions of abuse and financial fraud. However, experts believe that it is time to modernize and return the popular migration route. Many point that the closure of the UK Investor visa has been damaging to the UK’s economy. Program may be relaunched but with the necessary mechanisms in place to ensure that all the necessary checks are at the forefront of the process. As basically the UK Investor visa was scrapped mainly due to security concerns and questionable background checks by banks on applicants. One of the major reasons was that the banks lacked the proper infrastructure to do thorough due diligence on the applicants.
With regard to the verification of the trustworthiness of candidates, an example should be taken from the countries of the Caribbean region. These are pioneers of the investment citizenship industry, such as St. Kitts and Nevis. These countries have CIPs running for almost 40 years and deal with due diligence checks in a very organized manner. All applicants and their dependents over the age of 16 undergo a thorough background check. The process is clear and managed by charging the applicant an additional due diligence fee to manage the cost of the background checks. So, expenses for due diligence process are paid by the applicant, they are included in the list of mandatory duties for issuing an application. Due diligence contractors are specialized international companies with headquarters in United States who engage with INTERPOL and other agencies and also do on-ground checks on the person’s place of birth, and place of residency, check financial documents, verify all claims and then prepare a report that is handed over to the citizenship unit for a final decision.
It is also possible that the Caribbean experience of non-refundable investments (donation) will be adopted. When the applicant is offered to contribute a certain amount to the state fund for economic development. Previously the investors had to park £2m in their bank accounts for 5 years, which could be withdrawn once the applicant achieved permanent residence.
Needless to say, that British economy needs investments to recover after pandemic measures and twisted turns of quickly changed government leaders. At the same time, there is significant demand from foreign investors to invest in the UK economy, whilst also obtaining residency rights to live and work in the UK. HNWI are seeking alternative options both for financial and personal reasons, reintroducing the UK investor visa would have significant mutual benefits both for applicants and the UK government and economy.
So, the Home Office is going to revise the Tier 1 migration scheme, which has been one of the most popular among wealthy and super-wealthy foreigners for 14 years in a row. It remains to wait until the details of this reform are announced. Nevertheless, the Tier 1, UK Investor visa program, was and will be very expensive, has requirements to live in the UK. Whereas, if you are interested in visa-free entry, you can choose one of the programs of the Caribbean region and get the opportunity to stay in the UK without a visa 180 days a year.