The number of high and ultra high net worth individuals applying to come and live in the UK on investor visas has risen by 46 percent in the last year to 405 from 278, private client law firm Collyer Bristow has noted.
The firm explains that the increase in the number of HNWs applying to live in the UK comes despite short-term Brexit uncertainty over the political and economic climate.
Many HNWs, particularly from emerging markets, still regard the UK as one of the most secure countries in which to hold their assets. The UK legal system, with a proven track record of protecting investors, is also appealing for many HNWs.
Recent political developments in Saudi Arabia, China and Turkey, as well as Russia’s difficult relations with the West, have unnerved some HNWs from those countries, encouraging them to apply for residency in the UK.
The rise in investor visa applications has been driven by increases from high net worth’s from emerging markets over the last year, including an 85 percent rise from Turkey, 46 percent rise from Russia and a 26 percent rise from China.
Investor visas enable high net worth individuals with at least £2 million to invest in the UK to enter and remain in the country for three years. Investor visas are seen as a fast-track process for wealthy foreign nationals to acquire British citizenship, the law firm stated.
James Badcock, partner at Collyer Bristow, said: “Despite Brexit uncertainty, the UK is attractive to many HNWs as a place to live and invest in. For many overseas investors the UK offers an international platform from which to grow their investments or businesses on an international stage. In addition to the financial and investment opportunities, the strong cultural appeal of the UK and London as well as its private education system attracts many overseas high net worth’s.
“With political uncertainty surrounding investor visas in the US, a growing number of HNWs are looking to move to and invest in the UK. However, some high net worth’s may have concerns that the Government could tighten visa rules after the formal Brexit date in March 2019 and may be looking to enter before then.”
Collyer Bristow is a London-based law firm providing a comprehensive range of advisory, transactional and litigation services to commercial organisations and wealthy individuals and families.
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