In a surprising move, the UK Home Office closed the Tier 1 Investor Visa Route with immediate effect on 17 February 2022, at 16h00 GMT.
Normally, the UK Home Office forewarns the public and immigration practitioners of such closures. The convention is that changes to the Immigration Rules come into force no earlier than 21 days after being laid in Parliament. However, there were no forewarning or notice of the Tier 1 Investor Visa route closure.
Subsequently, many persons with pending applications couldn’t submit them, as there was no closure forewarning.
What are the implications of the closure on persons with pending and current applications?
Unfortunately, persons with pending applications cannot submit their applications. Any applications received after the closure (16h00 GMT, 17 February 2022) will be considered null and void and the fees refunded.
It is also no longer possible to switch to the Tier 1 Investor route.
The Home Office says that alternative routes are available to persons who could not submit their applications in time. Breytenbachs strongly recommend that persons who could not submit in time get in touch with their Breytenbachs consultant to discuss alternative visa routes.
The Home Office will only accept and process applications received before 16h00 GMT on 17 February 2022.
If your application was submitted in time and thus currently under consideration, the Home Office will consider the application according to the rules effective before the closure.
How will the closure affect current Tier 1 Investors?
Persons with valid Tier 1 Investor visas will still be able to extend their leave or to apply to settle as an existing Tier 1 Investor migrant.
Applications to extend your stay in the UK, also known as leave to remain, will be accepted until the 17th of February 2026.
Applications to settle in the UK, also known as indefinite leave to remain, will be accepted until the 17th of February 2028.
The closure will thus not affect the current Tier 1 Investors in any way.
Will the closure affect dependants of current Tier 1 Investors?
Dependants of current Tier 1 Investors will not be affected by the closure. They will be able to apply for an extension of stay and settlement, provided, of course, that the Tier 1 Investor migrant still hold valid leave.
Furthermore, if you are an eligible family member, you will still be able to make an application to join the Tier 1 Investor and be issued with leave in line with the main applicant.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs have a team of immigration consultants dealing specifically with UK Business and Investor Visas. If you have been affected by the Tier 1 Investor closure or are concerned that you are affected, please get in touch with us today to arrange a consultation at [email protected] or visit www.bic-immigration.com