Personal Immigration

Roman Abramovich and the Tier 1 UK Investor Visa

There’s been a lot of news coverage recently surrounding Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich and his Tier 1 UK Investor Visa, with its expiry causing his absence at the FA Cup Final.

Many people aren’t quite sure what this type of Visa is, and why Abramovich is facing delays in renewing.

What is a Tier 1 UK Investor Visa?

A Tier 1 UK Investor Visa is geared towards high-level investment in the UK, with holders being required to invest a minimum of £2 million in the country in permitted investments. They also have to show that they have these funds under their direct control.

Having successfully applied for such a visa, the recipient can remain in the UK for up to 40 months and can apply for settlement after two, three or five years depending on the amount of money they wish to invest.

Usually, the Investor visa is issued within eight weeks of submitting the application, although certain circumstances can lead to it being delayed.

Reports suggest that Abramovich’s initial visa didn’t expire until the end of April, so his current wait is certainly not out of the ordinary.

If someone is refused a Tier 1 UK Investor visa, can they appeal?

At this time there is no appeal process for points-based system cases in the UK, with only administrative reviews by the Home Office being offered.

If the decision is upheld by the administrative review, the only option for someone wanting to take matters further would be the Judicial Review, which can prove costly, as a loss in this arena would mean potentially having to pay the expenses of the Home Office as well.

Are there any plans for the Tier 1 Investor visa to be altered?

As of writing the answer is no, but new procedures were introduced in 2015 for investigating how the investment money was obtained.

This is similar to the checks that businesses have to make under money laundering regulations and means that Abramovich may be asked to provide information on how he made his money. This is something he didn’t have to do previously when applying.

The truth is that the chances of Abramovich being refused his replacement visa are pretty slim. There’s been no real reason for the media speculation regarding his status beyond filling column inches, and there’s a good chance we’ll see Mr. Abramovich take his usual seat for the start of the new football season.

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