New immigration rules mean overseas property investors and landlords will find it very difficult to access the UK’s buy-to-let market next year, the Home Office has told LandordZONE.

The Government’s post-Brexit Tier 2 visa programme kicks off on 1st January 2021, with the Skilled Worker visa replacing the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

It awards points for a job offer, with the conditions that arrivals should use English up to a certain level and have a job offer from an approved UK employer.

Landlords are included in the list of eligible jobs but this route is designed for those coming to fill a skilled vacancy that can’t be filled by a resident worker.

That would exclude independent landlords wanting to live here and invest in buy-to-let property.

While EEA nationals who’ve arrived in the UK before 31st December can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, this is only open for applications until 30th June 2021. 

£2 million minimum

The Government is also restricting other routes; the former Entrepreneur visa, which allowed businesspeople with between £50,000 and £200,000 in funds to enter the UK to set up or take over a UK business, has been replaced by the Innovator visa, which allows entry only on condition they set up an “innovative business” – which effectively wouldn’t cover property management.

Only those with at least £2 million to invest can come to the UK on an Investor visa, but a Home Office spokesperson tells LandlordZONE: “Whilst investment in property would not satisfy the requirements of the immigration rules, a Tier 1 (investor) may buy property in addition to their permitted investment.”

She adds: “If an individual will remain based overseas, they can come to the UK for the purpose of entering into contracts using the visitor route.”

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