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Labour market access
On 16 October 2014, the UK Minister of State for Immigration and Security announced reforms to the Immigration Act.
Among the changes, Tier 1 Investor visa applicants will need to provide a minimum investment of 2 million GBP (previously 1 million GBP) into UK government bonds, loan capital in active and trading companies registered in the country or into share capital (earlier, up to a quarter of the investment could have been invested in shares or held in cash). Furthermore, the means for the investment need to be presented in cash funds, as loaned money will no longer be accepted. However, Tier 1 Investor visa holders will also no longer need to increase their initial investment if its market value falls below the 2 million GBP.
Furthermore, the regulations for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa holders have marginally changed as well. Visa applications in the UK, for instance, will be required to hold the money in the country. Other amendments are available specified in the Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules.
According to the consulting firm Deloitte (cf. Sources), there were no direct changes related to the requirements for Tier 2 visa applicants, but "the changes will give more power to immigration officers to refuse applications if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the requirements are not met."
Other amendments included an expanded list of activities allowed for business visitors: for scientists and researchers to attend fully funded international projects conducted in the UK or for lawyers advising their clients in the UK.
The new regulations came into force on 6 November 2014.
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