The Immigration Minister has announced an upcoming Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, which will include several changes to Tier 1 routes.

In addition, on December 6, 2018 various press outlets reported 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.

The previewed changes to the immigration rules include:

  • The introduction of the “Start-up” visa;
  • 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;
  • 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.

Action Items

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their UK immigration specialist for specific advice.


Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.