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Tier 1 Investor Visa and Coronavirus

The last few weeks have certainly been eventful for the FTSE 100. The coronavirus pandemic prompted a sell-off that pushed the blue-chip index into bear market territory for the first time since the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.  At the time of writing the index has lost 20.86% in the year-to-date and there are plenty who feel that it could fall further still.

Whilst the fall in the price of equities may present an opportunity for new Tier 1 Investor visa applicants, those already in the UK with a Tier 1 Investor visa may be concerned about the impact of the recent stock market adjustment on their immigration status.

UK Investor visa: Maintaining the level of investment 

In order to qualify for further leave to remain and indefinite leave to remain, Tier 1 Investor visa holders who entered the Tier 1 Investor route from 6 November 2014 must have invested at least £2 million within 90 days of their arrival in the UK and then maintained the level of their investment for the whole of the remaining period of their leave.

In order to satisfy the requirement to have maintained the level of their investment, Tier 1 Investor visa holders are required to produce a series of investment portfolio reports, covering the required period, which certify that the investment has been maintained.

The good news for most Tier 1 Investors is that when assessing whether the level of investment has been maintained, the Home Office will focus, not on the current value of the investment on the reporting dates, but on the value of the funds originally invested.

This means that under the Immigration Rules, if the value of your Tier 1 Investor visa qualifying investment has dropped to below £2 million and this is only as a result of fluctuations in the market, then you do not need to make any further investment.

The impact of selling shares on Investor status 

Faced with a rapidly declining market, some Tier 1 Investors may recently have decided to sell all or part of their holdings.  Tier 1 Investors who have liquidated any part of their stock need to take steps to preserve their immigration status.

If a Tier 1 Investor no longer holds part of their initial investment as a result of steps that they have actively taken, such as selling shares, then they will be left with a shortfall in the level of their investment.

This will be the case whether the Tier 1 Investor has sold at a gain or at a loss.

If this applies to you then in order to satisfy the requirement to have maintained the level of your investment, you will need to make a further investment because the value of the funds invested (as distinct from the value of the investment) will be less than £2 million. 

In order to satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules you will need to invest the gross proceeds of sale (the total from the sale of the portfolio, before any fees, taxes or other costs are deducted).

The new investment will need to be made in qualifying investments before the end of your next reporting period, or within six months of the date of completion of the sale, whichever is sooner.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and professional assistance preparing an application for an initial Tier 1 Investor visa, an extension of stay as a Tier 1 Investor or settlement as a Tier 1 Investor, contact our investment immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our online enquiry form below.


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