Analysing the data, Rafael Steinmetz Leffa:
“The number of applicants from China, currently the most significant country of origin for UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa applicants, on a year on year basis has fallen by 75%, but this is natural as China was the first country to place travel restrictions. As previously reported, the rise of applicants from India is another feature in the quarterly statistics. It is worth noting that this quarter there was an 11% refusal rate.”
“Two points we wish to highlight to immigration lawyers is the confusion we have seen regarding topping up rules which were removed for new applicants 6th Nov 14, as well as some confusion regarding maintaining investments. As always, we are more than happy to take you through these intricacies and review from a financial side. The silver lining during this time of crisis is that many UK companies are not declaring dividends, making investment-maintained calculations somewhat less cumbersome.”
These statistics do not fully reflect the current environment, as the lockdowns commenced first in China during January and slowly moved West. I expect next quarters data release to be very low, given no new visas are being issued as we pass the midway point of Q2. With this said, we are aware that there is pent up demand from Investor migrants waiting to apply once lockdown measures ease. Of course, much of this is dependent on universities reopening and not moving classes online.
Based on historic UK Investor applicants, and our own client’s motivation to migrate, the UK could lose over £350m of foreign direct investment if universities move classes online during the next academic year.
While discussions with potential migrants still revolve around education, a new topic has been the UK’s private health care facilities and the way the government handles the current crisis.
For us, investment managers specialising in managing UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa applications, the stock markets during the first quarter have witnessed some historic volatility. Shrewd investors thrive in times of crisis as opportunities arise, record low levels of the Pound makes the UK even more attractive to migrants.
During Q1 2020, the UK issued 45 UK Tier 1 (Investor) visas to main applicants.