Thursday, 17 March, 2011

UK Immigration update - Boost for foreign Investors and Entrepreneurs.

New immigration rules for investors and entrepreneurs are coming into effect on 6 April 2011, aimed at making the UK more attractive to high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

The changes will give anyone investing significant funds, or with successful businesses in the UK, a fast track to permanent residence, and the amount of time they will need to remain in the UK to qualify for settlement will be reduced. The new rules will be applied retrospectively.

From 6 April, new investors and those already in the UK in this category will be fast tracked:

·         Those investing at least £10 million can apply for settlement after two years;
·         Those investing £5 million can apply for settlement after three years; and
·         Those investing £1 million will continue to be able to apply for settlement after five years.

The number of days that investors are required to be present in the UK in order to qualify for settlement have also been reduced, and they can be outside the UK for up to 180 days in any 12 month period.

The rules for British citizenship remain unchanged; investors will still be required to reside in the UK for five years, although the new rules mean that those investing £5 or £10 million will be able to qualify for citizenship a year earlier than previously.

The entrepreneur rules are also changing, with a lowering of the initial capital requirement and the offer of a fast track to settlement for successful entrepreneurs.

For further information, please contact David Rudge on +44 (0)20 7268 2440.