In the immediate aftermath of the referendum a huge degree of uncertainty amongest investors was well placed. However as time has moved on and we emerge from the initial aftermath a still confidence has developed in respect of the UK's future after its divorce from the EU. For certain high net worth individuals at least. As confidence grows in the UK's ability to emerge in a stronger financial future, wealthy individuals from outside the EU are once again considering the viability and security offered by the UK with a view to settlement.
Equally, those seeking to pursue residency in the UK via an alternate EU member state offering the golden visa programmes such as those in Cyprus & Malta which have less stringent application regulations than the UK, may no longer be considered as attractive an option or long term strategy.
The first half of 2016 saw investor visa's at a new low since 2010 dropping to a desperately worrying average of 13 per month. However in the last set of figures released by the Office for National Statistics, released in December 2016, the renewed confidence in the UK economy was confirmed by an 85% rise in approved investor visa applications. Between July and September 2016, a total of 72 Tier 1 (Investor) entry clearance applications were approved by the Home Office attracting principally those from China and Russia.
So what does the future hold for high net worth individuals looking to relocate themselves to the UK? The Home Office issued new guidance mid December and we are certainly seeing no signs of reduced interest in such applications as we tilt towards Brexit Britain. To summarise the basic eligibility requirements :
* You must have a minimum of £2millon sterling under your full control
* Sums must be held in a regulated financial institution and must be disposable in the UK
* You must hold a UK bank account and invest the sums within 3 months of entry to the UK in UK Government bonds, share or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
Settlement can be achieved in a period of 2 years for invested funds in excess of £10millon, 3 years for invested funds in excess of £5millon and after 5 years in respect of invested funds of £2millon. UK citizenship can be applied for thereafter subject to the eligibility criteria.