Tier 1 Investor Visas
How Will COVID-19 Affect the Tier 1 Visa?
14 July 2020
14 July 2020
by John Whick, Chartered FCSI
Senior Investment Manager & Head of Investor Visa Services
Tier 1 visa investors face additional hurdles in a COVID-19 world. John Whick, Senior Investment Manager and Tier 1 Specialist at Henderson Rowe, discusses our systemic approach to assist you with these challenges.
Henderson Rowe is an experienced Tier 1 Investor visa investment firm. During the last decade we’ve seen how economic and political gyrations cause significant changes in global migration. The Tier 1 visa program is a small part of this broader ecosystem, and Tier 1 visa investors – despite their strata –will respond to the same pressures any person faces in the wake of turmoil at home.
COVID-19 is one of the most disruptive events of our generation and it does not discriminate based on borders or social status. Indeed, governments around the world have had to close their borders to restrict the movement of people. Henderson Rowe’s Tier 1 team serves people from around the world, and it is incumbent upon us to ask what we might expect to see in the future due to COVID-19 and how our experience can be useful to those examining Tier 1 visas as a potential path forward.
All good investment managers will tell you there is no crystal ball and that the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windscreen. However, economic pressures are a key driver for migration, and, in the context of COVID-19, it is possible that a weakened global economy will exacerbate political tensions and lead countries to adopt entrenched and inward-looking stances. At present, China is dramatically exerting its control over Hong Kong, and in the USA, foreign students risk having their visas revoked if their university classes move online. As a result of these and other geopolitical events, we suspect pockets of people around the world will be reassessing their future and where to bring up their families.
For people who view the Tier 1 visa program as a potential path towards relocation, what are the most important things to consider?
First, planning has always been central to a successful Tier 1 application, and today it is more important than ever. Anti-Money Laundering remains, for high quality Investment managers, one of the most time-consuming elements of the Tier 1 process and COVID-19 has thrown additional challenges our way as document collation and verification can be slower in a world where people are working from home and social distancing.
Speaking to an investment specialist at the earliest part of your Tier 1 journey can alleviate many of the problems because they can guide you regarding the requirements and set your expectations appropriately. While COVID-19 has resulted in shockwaves on a grand scale, we must remain attuned to the small legal requirements such as acquiring a face-to-face signature to make a valid deed of gift.
Many clients are currently facing travel restrictions, so this too presents challenges in the decision-making and information-gathering processes. Henderson Rowe’s network of advisors, who deal with everything from schooling and resettlement to legal and tax planning, have proven a tremendous asset during this period of heightened travel restrictions. We can make introductions without commitment to a support network on a ‘best in class’ basis; we do not collect referral fees from our network. We are solely motivated to introduce you to the advisors that will best meet your needs in the hopes of supporting your residency objectives. In the context of COVID-19, this network that has been built up over our decade of Tier 1 experience has proven enormously valuable to our clients.
Second, be sure you are researching the investment capabilities of your potential Tier 1 investment firm. While some firms give little attention to the investment performance of their Tier 1 clients, Henderson Rowe’s primary focus and skill lies in investment management. (Our parent company, Rayliant Global Advisors, is based in Hong Kong and has won numerous global awards for its investment research). In fact, one of the key advantages of making Tier 1 investments through Henderson Rowe is access to institutional-quality strategies and portfolios.
In the wake of COVID-19, we have made some minor changes to our investment approach. For example, we have broadened our bond exposure and deepened our work on equity holdings with a focus on ‘fortress balance sheet companies’ (those businesses that score highly in Quality and Value factors, and as such are better able to weather the storms than their competitors). Tier 1 portfolios must necessarily focus on achieving immigration aims, but at Henderson Rowe we also place enormous importance on the delivery of the best investment advice and execution in light of our clients’ goals and risk tolerance.
History tells us that successive waves of pandemics are often worse, that vaccines can’t be wished into being, and that viruses mutate. Governments can also do unpredictable things, often forcing people to re-evaluate their decisions about where they would like to live and bring up their families. For this reason, the Tier 1 visa landscape is constantly shifting. Whilst the road ahead looks uncertain today, our expertise and years of experience will shine a light to make it a little clearer. We are here for our clients every step of the way.
Henderson Rowe is a registered trading name of Henderson Rowe Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under Firm Reference Number 401809.
The information contained in this article is the opinion of Henderson Rowe and does not represent investment advice. The value of investment may go up and down and investors may not get back what they invested. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.
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