Migration statistics released this week by the Office for National Statistics reveal an increase in the number of UK investor and entrepreneur visas granted during the first quarter of 2014.
In the 3 months from January to March 2014, a total of 213 applications for entry clearance to the UK in the Tier 1 Investor category were approved by the Home Office, representing a significant increase from the 128 investor visas granted in the previous quarter. In the same period, a total of 262 applications for entry clearance in the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category were approved, representing a modest increase from the 259 entrepreneur visas granted in the last 3 months of 2013.
Of the 213 investor visas granted in the first quarter of 2014, over half were awarded to citizens of China and Russia. Chinese citizens accounted for 95 of the successful investor visa applications (85 from mainland China and 10 from Hong Kong), up from 51 in the previous quarter, with citizens of Russia being granted a further 46 investor visas, an increase from 22 in the last 3 months of 2013.
Of the 262 entrepreneur visa applications approved between January and March 2014, 37 entrepreneur visas were awarded to citizens of China, one less than in the previous quarter, with citizens of Russia claiming a further 15 entrepreneur visas, a slight reduction from the 16 granted in the last 3 months of 2013.
The latest immigration statistics also reveal that whereas 96% of all investor visa applications were approved in the first 3 months of 2014, with a refusal rate of just 4%, the refusal rate for entrepreneur visa applications stands at a significant 51%.