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Foreign investors welcome?

There has been a sharp drop in the number of people using the Tier 1 (investor) visa scheme since recent changes. Should applicants be concerned?

12 January 2016

The figures certainly suggest a slowdown. Home Office statistics show £88m in foreign investment was generated through such visas during the second quarter of 2015, down from £251m for the same period in 2014 - an 82 per cent drop.

But we should be wary of obvious conclusions. Many people brought forward applications to avoid the first of the more stringent changes that came into force in November 2014. This was reflected by a marked rise in applications during the preceding months.

Numbers had otherwise risen every single year from 2009 up to the 2014 peak, which included 357 Chinese nationals.

The upward trend was slowed only when the entry requirement became to buy at least £2m of British assets, twice the previous amount.

The recent red carpet welcome given to Chinese president Xi Jinp...

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