UK Tier 1 Investment Falls to 4-year Low in Q1: “UK Could Lose £350m” If University Classes Move Online

An audio version of this article is available in the IMI Club Members’ Lounge

45 main applicants and 65 of their dependants received UK Tier 1 Investor visas in the UK during the first three months of 2020, Home Office figures released today show. This is the lowest number of approved applications recorded since Q2, 2016 (the quarter immediately preceding the Brexit referendum).

Hong Kong-based investors, for the first time in the program’s modern history, outnumbered Chinese ones, and that by a factor of two (15 applicants vs. 7). Five Indians, four Americans, and two Turks were also among the investors who obtained visas. Five applications were refused.

Presuming each investor made only the minimum required capital transfer of GBP 2 million, the program will have raised 90 million pounds during the quarter, down from 112 in the three months immediately preceding it.

The data contained in Q3, remarks Farzin Yazdi, Head of Investor Visa at Shard Capital, “do not fully reflect the current environment, as the lockdowns commenced first in China during January and slowly moved west.” He indicates he expects the true scale of the pandemic’s impact on the program to become apparent only when numbers for the current quarter are released, numbers he anticipated will be “very low, given no new visas are being issued as we pass the midway point of Q2.”

Yazdi points out the importance of distinguishing between application volume and demand, which, after all, could be present even in the absence of ways to act on it.

Farzin Yazdi

“There is pent up demand from investor migrants waiting to apply once lockdown measures ease. Of course, much of this is dependent on universities reopening and not moving classes online,” Yazdi underscores, referring to new this week of Cambridge University’s decision to move all classes online for the upcoming school year, a move many anticipate may be mirrored by other venerable institutions.

The university element, Yazdi believes, will have a decisive effect on the program’s direction, he explains, because among his Tier 1 investor client group (which, at several hundred applicants from diverse geographic regions, make for a representative sample) about half are motivated mainly or in part by their children’s educational prospects.

“The UK could lose over £350m of foreign direct investment if universities move classes online during the next academic year,” he comments, basing his estimate on last year’s application volume, which saw the UK raise close to GBP 800 million through the route.

Want to know more about the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa? To see recent articles, statistics, official links, and more, please visit its Program Page. To see which firms can assist with applications to the program, visit the Residence and Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.

More Stories about the UK

Post Grid lazy load
Tony Ebraheem worries about CIPs that are short-lived or announced by unofficial bodies, and aims to change that by advising governments himself.
David Lesperance says many US embassies refuse to take renunciation appointments, and that the backlog runs into the tens of thousands.
Investment migration people in the news this week include: Patricia Casaburi of Global Citizen SolutionsJoão G. Gil Figueira of GFDL AdvogadosDominic Volek of Henley & PartnersArthur Sarkisian of AstonsPedro Cortés of Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés - Lawyers.Jeffrey Ling of Bartra Wealth AdvisorsTina Cheng of Midland Immigration ConsultancyAna Vukovic of Collier's New York Times: House Hunting in Portugal: A Light-Filled Retreat Near the Atlantic Coast In the downtown area, homes in the priciest areas — specifically the neighborhoods of Baixa and Chiado — sell for an average of 6,575 euros a square meter ($727 a square foot), said Patricia Casaburi, the CEO of Global Citizen Solutions, an investment migration consulting firm. “Prices are rising fast. Rent prices in this area are also very high, making it an ideal location for investment,” she said. She also pointed to two “up-and-coming” districts, Marvila and Beato, onetime industrial areas that now have “a number of creative spaces and industries, as well as microbreweries, and can be a good choice when it comes to investing in property in Lisbon.” [...] Property ownership by foreigners is not restricted in Portugal, said João G. Gil Figueira, a partner with the Lisbon-based law firm GFDL Advogados. “Legal


Our readers are the best-informed professionals in the investment migration industry.
Once a week, we’ll send you a curated newsletter with the week’s top stories.

Want updates every day?
Be the first in your company to know about breaking investment migration news; Get the most important stories delivered.

Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain. 

follow me