The Tier 1 Investor visa route has been shut down with immediate effect amid security concerns, it has been announced.

The Government said it will be replaced by a new points-based visa route but did not say when.

Under the Tier 1 Investor visa, applicants can apply for entry and stay in the UK providing they invest funds in share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies.

A recent review, however, found that the route “had given rise to security concerns”, such as allowing people into the country who had acquired their wealth illegitimately.

From 17 February 2022, the route will be shut to all new applications from all nationalities.

Commenting on the move, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I have zero tolerance for abuse of our immigration system. Under my New Plan for Immigration, I want to ensure the British people have confidence in the system, including stopping corrupt elites who threaten our national security and push dirty money around our cities.

“Closing this route is just the start of our renewed crackdown on fraud and illicit finance. We will be publishing a fraud action plan, while the forthcoming Economic Crime Bill will crackdown on people abusing our financial institutions and better protect the taxpayer.”

The Home Office said it will now be making reforms to the innovator route under the new points-based immigration system.

As part of these changes, settlement will be conditional on applicants “executing an investment strategy that can show genuine job creation and other tangible economic impacts” – meaning passively holding UK investments will no longer be enough to obtain settlement.

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