The UK Immigration Minister, Ms. Caroline Nokes, made a recent announcement. It confirms the suspension of the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa Programme.
The popular programme required you to invest at least £2 million into the country. In return , you received the right of residence in the UK . There was the possibility for indefinite leave to remain after five years. The programme had declined in popularity. Yet the announcement still came as a surprise to many in the industry.
The UK Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) had been sceptical. They questioned the economic benefit of the programme. Most applicants were purchasing Government bonds rather than investing in a UK business. An audit of the programme will soon take place. There is a strong likelihood for vast changes to its current format.
MAC wants applicant’s funds to have a clear economic benefit to the UK. They encourage investments in small- to medium-sized businesses. One option is to replicate the USA’s main Residency-by-Investment programme. The EB-5 Investor Visa attracts foreign capital while spurring economic development. It creates jobs for US citizens. This is now one of the world’s most popular RBI programmes. It provides low-cost capital to developers and projects across industries.
Latitude recognises and supports the need to tighten the programme’s due diligence. It understands the checks on source of wealth. Revision bringing economic benefits to the UK will deliver the outcome the programme meant to provide.
If you were considering the UK programme, there are alternatives. The Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme (IIIP) is one such option. Ireland has the fastest-growing economy in Europe. It’s home to many of the world’s top tech companies such as Google, Intel, Facebook, and Twitter.
Ireland’s education system receives top marks and is why families choose the IIIP. One of the more popular options to qualify for residence in Ireland is the €1 million investment. This is in an Approved Investment Fund and you need to maintain this for at least three years.
Are you looking for a flexible residency option? Check out the Portugal Golden Visa Programme. The most popular investments are the purchase of real estate for €350,000 or €500,000. The programme is flexible due to the residence requirement being only 7 days per year. After five years it is possible to apply for citizenship. You will need to show a basic understanding of the Portuguese language.
The country of Malta offers two different types of programmes. The first is a residency programme named the Malta Residency and Visa Programme. This starts from €135,000 + a lease or purchase of a property. It gives you and your family the right to live and work in Malta.
The other option is the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP). This has become the world’s number one Citizenship-by-Investment Programme. The high standards set by the government ensure its continued good standing. Citizens of Malta have the right to live and work in any EU country which is one of the primary benefits of the MIIP. The total cost for the MIIP starts from under €1 million.
The Cyprus Citizenship-by-Investment Programme is another viable alternative. It involves the purchase of real estate priced from €2 million. This efficient CIP grants you citizenship in as little as six months. Citizens of Cyprus also enjoy the right of establishment in all EU countries.
The temporary suspension of the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa is disappointing. Yet there are many alternative options available to you. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation and review of your residency options.