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Within 24 hours of a media announcement ON 16 FEBRUARY 2022 stating the Investor category will be withdrawn the following week SSHD has withdrawn the Investor category to new applicants WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT (as of 4pm on 17/2/22)

17 FEBRUARY 2022: 🚨 NEW: We've closed the Tier 1 Investor Visa with immediate effect following a review of all those granted.

A reformed Innovator visa, part of the points-based immigration system, will provide an ambitious investment route to better support our economy.

Home Secretary Priti Patel: "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."

Question 1: why now? If this route has been the subject of concern for years… Question 2: what do the findings from 7 years ago reveal? “Findings of a Home Office review, which looked at all Tier 1 Investor visas granted from when the scheme launched in 2008 up to 5 April 2015 when the route was reformed, will be published in due course.” For more details: Question 3: Is it better to think through the potential for abuse beforehand through consultation and put in safeguards from the outset when designing visa categories? Comment: The vast majority of people on this route are not Oligarchs laundering money. Their only “crime” may be to be wealthy - legitimately. Details are missing on the statements below. The second point could be problematic and unfair for those already on the route as they will have a legitimate expectation to be able to settle under different conditions. The law must be predictable, clear and fair. UKVI: the future for investors “The introduction of the points-based immigration system has allowed us to target investors we want in the country. Improvements will be made to the Innovator visa route to support this. Settlement will now be conditional on applicants executing an investment strategy that can show genuine job creation and other tangible economic impacts, passively holding UK investments will no longer be enough to obtain settlement”

Under "a less precipitate" procedure, a Home Secretary would normally subject changes to the Immigration Rules to parliamentary scrutiny over 21 days. They are subject to a negative procedure and are not normally "debated" as such but can be rejected in their entirety. There is little justification for overstepping the usual procedures.

The vast majority of applicants are genuine and make valuable investments as share or loan capital in active UK companies. The HO can reject individual applications if they have doubts.

The legality of such swift action is therefore questionable.

Author: Nilmini Roelens

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