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Immigrant using former UK Tier 1 Investor Visa refused leave to remain application

Head of Immigration Charles Avens shares his thoughts on a former UK Tier 1 Investor Visa refusal.

 

 

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Published 22 June 2023

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An immigrant named Ms Wang applied for a leave to remain in the UK under the former Tier 1 Investor Visa program. To qualify, she needed to invest a minimum of £750,000 in a British company using capital borrowed from a British company. Ms Wang borrowed £1 million from Maxwell Asset Management, which required the investment to be used for shares or loans in active UK-registered companies. She also signed a services agreement with Maxwell Holdings, giving them discretion to invest the loaned money on her behalf and act as her representative.

However, the investment made by Ms Wang through Eclectic Capital, a company owned by Russian nationals, primarily went into Russian companies. The Home Office rejected Ms Wang’s application, stating that she did not have control over the investment proceeds, and the investment itself did not meet the qualifying criteria. The Upper Tribunal’s decision in favor of Ms Wang was overturned by the Court of Appeal, and the Home Office appealed to the Supreme Court. On June 21, 2023, the Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal, upholding the Home Office’s decision to refuse Ms Wang’s application.

This case highlights how the previous investor visa program allowed investors to make non-qualifying investments easily. With the Tier 1 investor visa no longer available, a new visa scheme that can attract high net worth individuals (HNWIs) from around the world to make large investments directly into already established British companies or to enable highly experienced HNWIs to invest into new UK companies is a key national priority, so as to contend with other investment visa schemes around the world.

To head off accusations of abuse of the rules and to avoid the most common argument against the old scheme that the Tier 1 Investor visa enabled wealthy people from around the world, sometimes from nefarious countries, to pay their way into the UK, without any direct benefit to the UK itself, any new investor visa’s number one focus will need to be on the benefit it will bring to the UK, its businesses, economy and workforce. Without clear benefits and measurable markers, the return of a UK investor visa would be unlikely.

For more information, visit our Immigration Lawyers page.

This article was first published on 22 June 2023 by Eprivateclient.

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Shorter Reads

Immigrant using former UK Tier 1 Investor Visa refused leave to remain application

Head of Immigration Charles Avens shares his thoughts on a former UK Tier 1 Investor Visa refusal.

 

 

Published 22 June 2023

Associated sectors / services

Authors

An immigrant named Ms Wang applied for a leave to remain in the UK under the former Tier 1 Investor Visa program. To qualify, she needed to invest a minimum of £750,000 in a British company using capital borrowed from a British company. Ms Wang borrowed £1 million from Maxwell Asset Management, which required the investment to be used for shares or loans in active UK-registered companies. She also signed a services agreement with Maxwell Holdings, giving them discretion to invest the loaned money on her behalf and act as her representative.

However, the investment made by Ms Wang through Eclectic Capital, a company owned by Russian nationals, primarily went into Russian companies. The Home Office rejected Ms Wang’s application, stating that she did not have control over the investment proceeds, and the investment itself did not meet the qualifying criteria. The Upper Tribunal’s decision in favor of Ms Wang was overturned by the Court of Appeal, and the Home Office appealed to the Supreme Court. On June 21, 2023, the Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal, upholding the Home Office’s decision to refuse Ms Wang’s application.

This case highlights how the previous investor visa program allowed investors to make non-qualifying investments easily. With the Tier 1 investor visa no longer available, a new visa scheme that can attract high net worth individuals (HNWIs) from around the world to make large investments directly into already established British companies or to enable highly experienced HNWIs to invest into new UK companies is a key national priority, so as to contend with other investment visa schemes around the world.

To head off accusations of abuse of the rules and to avoid the most common argument against the old scheme that the Tier 1 Investor visa enabled wealthy people from around the world, sometimes from nefarious countries, to pay their way into the UK, without any direct benefit to the UK itself, any new investor visa’s number one focus will need to be on the benefit it will bring to the UK, its businesses, economy and workforce. Without clear benefits and measurable markers, the return of a UK investor visa would be unlikely.

For more information, visit our Immigration Lawyers page.

This article was first published on 22 June 2023 by Eprivateclient.

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