The background to today's announcement is as follows: the UK has, for the best part of two decades, offered a route for high net worth individuals and their families to reside in the UK, qualify for settlement and, later, apply for British Citizenship.
On 25 February 2014, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published their long-awaited report to the government on the Tier 1 Investor Visa route. Their report set out an analysis of the economic benefits the route currently provides to the UK, together with their recommendations as to how it may be improved.
Some of the MAC's recommendations were widely expected (such as increasing the investment threshold from £1 million to £2 million), but others less so, such as removing the requirement to top up an investment where the value falls below the investment threshold and relaxing the current restrictions on permissible investments so as to permit wider investment activity.
More controversially, the MAC also suggested the introduction of a new premium route which allowed for accelerated settlement and a relaxation of the residence requirements for a limited number of Investor Visas to be auctioned each year.
On 21 March the Home Affairs Select Committee issued a report which addressed the MAC's recommendations and, quite unexpectedly, recommended a suspension of the Tier 1 Investor route.