As a UK tax and immigration specialist, Q1 2022 has been a particularly busy time for us and here are some of the highlights:

  • The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is no longer available to new applicants (see stop press).  
  • "New" immigration routes have been introduced in the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (15 March 2022).
  • Several schemes have been introduced as a result of the conflict in Ukraine (see article).  
  • Discussions on citizenship and domicile have increased (see article).
  • 6 April 2022 marks the beginning of the 2022/23 UK tax year. 

Residence or citizenship by investment have become synonymous with private wealth immigration.  When the Home Office announced the closure of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route in February 2022, it felt like an end of an era.  Whilst the Tier 1 (Investor) visa was a popular choice for HNW and UHNW individuals, it is important to remember that it is not the only option for private wealth immigration. 

Reform and rebrand

For those who were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, the deadline to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021.    

Although the Tier 1 (Investor) visa is no longer available to new applicants, the Innovator route will be reformed to incorporate migration by investment, which is expected to take place this Autumn (see statement). 

The “new” immigration routes introduced on 15 March 2022 are mostly a rebranded version of some of the existing routes. These straddle the business and work categories:

  • High Potential Individual visa is aimed at non-UK graduates who have graduated from a top 50 global university within the past 5 years.
  • Scale-up visa is designed for high-growth companies in the UK to attract highly skilled workers.
  • UK Expansion Worker visa (also known as Global Business Mobility) enables an overseas business that has not yet started trading in the UK to set up a branch here.  It is divided into five routes:
    • Graduate Trainee
    • Secondment Worker
    • Senior or Specialist Worker
    • Service Supplier
    • UK Expansion Worker

If the applicant intends to live in the UK for more than 5 years, then most of these routes might not be suitable because they do not lead to settlement in the UK (i.e. permanent residence).  The Scale-up visa (due to be available from 22 August 2022) is the only exception.  Therefore, it is important to consider the applicant’s circumstances and objectives in detail in order to choose the most appropriate route.

What are the options now?

UK visas can be divided into the following categories:

  • Ancestry 
  • Business
  • Family 
  • Investment
  • Study
  • Visit
  • Work

Until the Innovator visa route is reformed, there is no investment visa option in the UK at present unless the individual already holds a Tier 1 (Investor) visa.  Therefore, those who are planning to move to the UK should consider whether the other categories are suitable for them.

How can we help?

Burges Salmon's specialists have substantial experience in immigration, tax, trusts, and estate planning for international clients.  If you wish to discuss any of the matters raised in this article, please do get in touch with Suzanna Harvey, Myra Leung or your usual contact within the team.