An upcoming Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules was announced by the Immigration Minister, which will include several changes to Tier 1 routes.
In addition, on 6 December 2018 it was reported by various press outlets that the Home Office has suspended the Tier 1 (Investor) route until further notice. However, there is still no public announcement of this suspension. Apparently, the Tier 1 (Investor) route will reopen sometime in 2019 with major changes, including the removal of government bonds from the list of acceptable investments, and a requirement to provide comprehensive audit trails for the investment funds.
[UPDATE] As of 11 December 2018, the announced Statement of Changes has not yet been published, and no official, written announcement of the suspension of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route.
Yesterday the Immigration Law Practitioners´ Association (ILPA) tweeted, “ILPA understands from the Home Office that there is no suspension as yet of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa. The Home Office cannot say if or when any suspension will happen, or how much notice we will get.’”
The previewed changes to the immigration rules include:
* The introduction of the “Start-up” visa in June 2018
* A new Tier 1 (Innovator) route for more experienced business people, to replace the current Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route
* Reform of the Tier 1 (Investor) route (see above)
* Expanding the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route to allow certain architects to apply
* “Minor, more technical” changes to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 routes for highly-skilled workers
* Prohibiting Tier 5 Religious Workers filling roles as Ministers of Religion and directing them instead to do so through the correct Tier 2 Minister of Religion sub-category
* The introduction of a “cooling-off” period for Tier 5 to prevent Religious and Charity Workers from getting a second visa until a year has passed since the first one expired
* Introducing the new pilot scheme for seasonal horticultural workers