I mentioned on Friday the rumours that there would be no detailed guidance on the new Appendix W, which contains the criteria for getting an innovator or start-up visa. Practitioners may be happy to know that we were wrong about that: there are now 32 pages of guidance on start-up visas and 45 pages on innovator visas. Both are aimed at staff making decisions rather than applicants, though.
The Home Office has also updated its guidance on Tier 1 (Investor) visas. The note on what has changed gives a handy potted summary of how the route has changed. From 29 March 2019, the rules now:
require applicants to demonstrate that they have held wealth of £2million for at least 2 years or, if not, provide evidence of the source of their funds
remove the option of investing in government bonds
require the UK bank account evidence submitted by initial applicants to include confirmation the bank has carried out all required due diligence checks and Know Your Customer enquiries in relation to the applicant
requires further evidence that businesses are genuinely active and trading
provides further requirements for evidence of investment where qualifying invested funds have been further invested through multiple companies.
allows pooled investment vehicles to be invested in but only if that pooled investment vehicle also has investment from a UK or devolved Government department or one of its agencies and this is confirmed in a letter from that agency or department
Investment and exceptional talent will soon be the last Tier 1 visas standing. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) is now closed to new applicants, and Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) will follow suit from 6 July.