Updating you of immigration rules changes and developments has always been at the heart of our mission at GOOD ADVICE UK.
The subject of this material is of interest to applicants who are in the UK either under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or Tier 1 (Investor) visa routes, on a journey to Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement), planning to apply for Further Leave to Remain (extension) or has particular interest in the matter.
For Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs), the Immigration Rules state that applicants who did not meet the residence criteria could have applied for unlimited extensions, provided that they remaining running a UK business with hired staff, until they are able to meet the residence requirement at any point in the future. However, recent changes introduced by the Home Office would mean that the last application that can be made for extension would be by 5 April 2023 and the last application for settlement would be by 5 April 2025.
As for Tier 1 (investors) who joined the route at the reduced investment level of £1m, prior to 6 November 2014, the newly introduced rules would mean that the last application that can be made for extension would be by 5 April 2020 and the last application for settlement would be by 5 April 2022. Those who would need to apply for further extensions after 5 April 2020 will need to top up their investment to at least £2m. The remaining amount of investment must be made before the date of the application for extension and be shown in the most recent portfolio report. Additionally, Tier 1 (Investors) who invested in gilts (government bonds), the last application for extension must be made by 5 April 2023 and last application for settlement must be made by 5 April 2025. Therefore, those who have invested in gilts will need to ensure that their investment has been moved to other qualifying investments by 5 April 2023 if they wish to secure further extension of leave in the UK after this period.
Also changes to the Data Protection Laws in the UK brought by the European Union in the form of the General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) meant that all movements into and out of the UK recorded by airlines are now accessible by caseworkers at standard consideration level when considering applications. Prior to the introduction of the GDPR, caseworkers needed to obtain special higher level of authorisation to access airline information and data!
As the new Immigration Rules, limiting applicants from making unlimited extension applications, were published in early 2019, we understand that this came as bad news for so many applicants and especially those who have been planning their Entrepreneur/Investor journey in the UK, and have had plans to continue to extending their leave under the same category.
This change is in effect casts unfairness as it forces applicants to reside in the UK by certain point and or forces them to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain/Settlement in the UK by certain point, and if they do not, they would have to leave the UK, close trading businesses, relocated with family and children, move investments, let go of employed British staff and many other obvious consequences.
Because of this, GOOD ADVICE UK is planning to bring group legal action against the Home Office in order to challenge this sudden change in the Immigration Rules, as we believe it is unreasonable and being applied retrospectively with no sufficient notice to applicants diminishes the principle of reasonable expectation. If the challenge is successful, this will have a direct positive impact on all applicants in the UK under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur/Investor Routes.
If this potential challenge is of interest to you, you are welcome to contact us to discuss the matter further. If you have another lawyer handling your case, needless to mention that there is no need to change your lawyer. We are only inviting interest and support from affected applicants in order strengthen the challenge and raise the necessary funding to involve immigration industry experts, experienced litigation lawyers and barristers to escalate this matter to Home Office and courts. It is important to note that we are not looking for individual instructions.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss this change, see how it will affect your plans, and how you could get involved.
Disclaimer: the above does not constitute legal advice and is a matter of opinion by GOOD ADVICE UK, and relying on the published will be at one’s own risk.
Article by Atef Elmarakby - Immigration Law Specialist Consultant at GOOD ADVICE UK