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Crisis in Zimbabwe – Options for Coming to the UK

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

More articles by this firm.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the military took control in Zimbabwe.  In a statement, Major General Sibusiso Moyo insisted that there was no military coup, however the opposition leader Tendai Biti told Sky News:

"If it flaps like a duck, waggles like a duck, then it's a duck. This is a coup, there's no question about that.”

Concern for members of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front

An army spokesman said on state television that Mr Mugabe and his family were under house arrest while soldiers carried out the operation in Harare.

After seizing control of state television, Major General Moyo stated:

“We are targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country. As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

The coup comes a week after Mr Mugabe sacked his vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a veteran of Zimbabwe’s liberation fight. It is believed this was done to pave the way for Mr Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, to succeed her husband.

Along with the Mugabe’s, Ignatius Chombo, the finance minister has been arrested as has Kudzai Chipanga, the head of Zanu-PF’s youth league.

General Chiwenga, the head of the army, is representing his actions as moving against the “criminals” around the president who have been stealing the country’s wealth.

For those caught up in the crisis, who may be fearing for their safety in the uncertain hours, days and months to come, it is time to explore your options regarding coming to the UK.

Our immigration lawyers in London can assist you with making the best application for a Tier 1Investor Visa, Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa or claiming asylum. We can act swiftly, to ensure you and your family’s safety.

Tier 1 Investor Visa

 

A Tier 1 Investor Visa is available to high-net-worth individuals who have £2 million plus of their own funds to invest in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active, and trading UK registered companies. You are not generally permitted to invest in property or companies involved in property development.

This visa needs to be applied for three months prior to you travelling to the UK.

You can bring your family members with you, and there is an option to be granted accelerated settlement. By investing £5 million, you may apply for settlement in three years; an investment of £10 million can allow you to obtain settlement (if you meet the other eligibility criteria) in two years.

If £2 million is invested in Britain, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years.

Our London-based Immigration law firm, which comes highly recommended in the Legal 500, can assist you with applying for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, as well as making introductions to banks, wealth managers, and estate agents who can assist you upon arrival in the UK.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

 

A Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa provides a route for people to invest and launch a startup in the UK or invest and work in an existing British company.

To qualify for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you must have £50,000 or £200,000 to invest in a new company or pre-existing business. If you have £50,000, the funds must be sourced from:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
  • a venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

For those who have access to £200,000, the funds must be your own or made available by a third party such as your spouse.

There are additional criteria to meet to secure a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, including:

  • having a knowledge of English
  • passing the Genuine Entrepreneur Test
  • being able to support yourself and any dependent family members while you are in the country (these funds must be in addition to your investment funds)

You can also form an entrepreneurial team with one other Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicant and share the same investment funds.

You and your team member must meet all the application requirements and:

  • not use the same funds on another application with a different entrepreneurial team
  • provide all the documents needed for evidence of the funds with your own applications

Like the Tier 1 Investor Visa, there are options for a fast-track to settlement if you meet certain eligibility requirements.

Claiming asylum

 

If you believe you are at risk of persecution in Zimbabwe, you may be able to claim asylum in the UK. To do so, you must come to Britain and claim asylum as soon as you enter the country.

Upon applying for asylum, you will have an interview with an immigration official who will examine your case and decide whether you meet the relevant criteria. It usually takes around six months to receive a decision on whether asylum will be granted. During this time, you will not be able to work and may have to meet regularly with a caseworker.

Our expert immigration Solicitors in London can attend an asylum interview with you. We can assist you with collating the necessary evidence you will need to make a successful application.

In summary

 

If you are in Zimbabwe and require legal advice as to how you can reach the UK, our immigration lawyers can assist you. Not only are we able to advise you on immigration matters, we can also assist you with legal issues pertaining to commercial, employment and family law.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London and is Legal 500 leading firm. By making an appointment with one of our immigration Solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.