Visas: Investment

Home Office written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will make an assessment of the implications for its policies of the report by Transparency International UK entitled, Gold Rush, published 15 October 2015; if her Department will retrospectively examine what transparency declarations can be required of existing investors who entered the UK on Tier 1 visas; what steps her Department takes to assess whether funds coming into the UK via those visas have been gained illicitly; and if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of strengthening those measures to address that issue.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

Holding answer received on 16 November 2015

The control of and provenance of the investment funds is central to the assessment of all Tier 1 (Investor) applications. In November 2014, we introduced new powers to refuse visa applications where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Tier 1 (Investor) migrant is not in control and at liberty to freely invest the funds; where the funds were obtained unlawfully; or where the character, conduct and associations of a third party providing the funds mean granting the application is not conducive to public good.

To further strengthen the route against abuse, we now require all Tier 1 (Investor) migrants to have opened an account with a Financial Conduct Authority-regulated bank for the purposes of making their qualified investment. Additionally, if an investor is applying to enter the UK, then they must provide proof of criminal record checks. All Tier 1 (Investor) migrants are liable to have their leave to enter or remain curtailed in certain circumstances, for example if they are discovered to have used deception in seeking a grant of leave, or if they cease to meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules. Those who are already in the route are subject to further checks on their investment and criminality when they make an extension or indefinite leave to remain application.

We keep all immigration routes under review. We will make further changes to tackle abuse of the Tier 1 (Investor) route if required.

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