Business Immigration from the UK to the USA

UK Scraps Investor Visa – What are my options?

The US investor visa requires an investment amount five times lower than the UK investor visa

The UK Government has announced it will be scrapping its Tier One Investor Visa program. The program had come under fire for the perception that it provided a legitimate route for illicit wealth to enter the United Kingdom.

The UK Investor Visa program was relatively expensive when compared with other countries’ residency and citizenship by investment programs. The minimum investment requirement started from £2 million – which is around five times as much as the corresponding US program, the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa Program. Investors had the option of investing more money to reduce the length of time before they could be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and by extension applying for citizenship a year after.

United States EB-5 Investor Visa

The price tag of the UK investor visa meant that it only attracted a few hundred applicants each year. That contrasts starkly with the US EB-5 investor visa, which attracts thousands and regularly meets its annual quota of 10,000 visas – thanks in part to a large backlog of Chinese applicants.

The US program currently has a minimum investment requirement of $500,000, which must create ten jobs. A key aspect of the program – the Regional Center program – is likely to come before Congress in the very near future and the rumor is that the investment amount may increase. This could be to $700,000 or $750,000, but this is only speculation and there are no guarantees.

The popular Regional Center route is currently closed awaiting reauthorization. This could potential occur within the next few weeks if it is included in Congress’s spending legislation. The alternative so-called “Direct EB-5” route is currently open at the minimum $500,000 threshold right now.

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

One of the most cost-effective citizenship or residency programs around the world is offered by Grenada, an island in the Caribbean. Grenadian citizenship starts from just $150,000 for a donation or $220,000 for an investment. Processing times are relatively fast and can take less than three months. Grenada has a relatively strong passport and it hold an E-2 Treaty with the United States. There is no tax on income earned outside of the island’s jurisdiction.

Turkey Citizenship by Investment

You can obtain citizenship of Turkey in around 6 months in exchange for a $250,000 investment in real estate or holding deposits in excess of $500,000 with a Turkish bank for at least three years. Turkey is a global transportation hub and it also holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States. This means that, like Grenada, you could become eligible for the US E-2 Visa by first obtaining Turkish citizenship.

Italy Investor Visa

Italy’s investor visa starts from just €250,000. However, most of our clients prefer the country’s elective residency visa, which allows you to live in Italy provided you have €32,000/year from funds earned outside Italy to support you. The country also offers generous flat tax rates to high-net-worth-individuals.

Contact us to discuss any of the options listed above.


This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

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