Changes to the UK’s immigration rules for investors will come into effect on 6 April 2011.
The changes are aimed at making the UK more attractive to entrepreneurs and High Net Worth individuals. They will provide a fast track to permanent residence for those investing significant funds or with successful businesses in the UK. Further, the rules in
respect of the amount of time investors and entrepreneurs will need to remain in the UK to qualify for permanent residence will be relaxed.
Under the current rules, investors with £1million at their disposal can obtain UK visas for themselves and their families. They would need to invest at least £750,000 in qualifying investments i.e. UK Government bonds or shares in a UK listed company, with
any balance held in cash or assets in the UK. Investors can then apply for permanent residency at the end of five years by providing evidence that they have maintained the required investments and/or funds in the UK throughout this period.
Under the new rules, which will also apply retrospectively, those investing at least £10million will be able to apply for settlement after two years, those investing £5million will be able to apply for settlement after three years and those investing £1million
will continue to be able to apply for settlement after five years.
The new rules will also relax one of the most unappealing elements of the existing investor scheme, being the number of days that investors are required to be present in the UK in order to qualify for permanent residency. The new rules will allow investors
to be outside the UK for up to 180 days in any 12 month period.
There is also the introduction of a new "Prospective Entrepreneur" visa. This will enable those coming to the UK to seek start-up funding for their UK business to remain in the UK while obtaining financial backing. If this is obtained they will be able to extend
their stay in the UK.
To discuss how we can provide further advice in connection with these issues, please contact Keith Kennedy, Partner in our Corporate team, by email to email@example.com or alternatively you can call Kieth on 0161 833 9211.
The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No responsibility for this article’s (or the above link’s) accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any
of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of the contents of this article.