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“Gold-plated’ Tier 1 investor visa to be halted

Taking effect at midnight on Friday, Caroline Nokes, Immigration Minister has announced a suspension of the Tier 1 Investor Visa until an auditing process is introduced.

From next year, independent, regulated auditors will assess applicants who wish to enter the UK through a fast track Tier 1 Investor Visa that gives an initial 3-year visa and indefinite leave to remain after 5 years.

Caroline Nokes, Immigration Minister said “We will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system,” announcing that measures will be brought forward to “make sure that only genuine investors who intend to support UK businesses can benefit from our immigration system”.

Tier 1 Investor Visas were introduced around a decade ago to encourage wealthy people from outside the EU to invest in the UK. It is different to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa which has a genuine entrepreneur test requirement and a more stringent application process.

Last year, the number of Tier 1 Investor Visas dropped dramatically to 350 with the highest number of investors coming from China and Russia.

Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea football club withdrew his application for a Tier 1 Investor Visa earlier this year as relations between the two countries went south over the Salisbury spy poisoning.

Home Office representatives have said changes would include applicants having to provide audits of all their financial and business interests and for the audits to be carried out by regulated UK auditing firms.

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