In 2014, more than 1,580 applicants for investor visas were Chinese, compared to 507 the year before, research from Radius Equity reveals.
The investor visa scheme encourages high-net-worth individuals to invest in British companies in exchange for the right to apply for citizenship after five years.
Despite the scheme proving to be a great success in bringing large amounts of inward investment to the UK, director at Radius Equity Gary Robins, said in the longer term demand for these visas could potentially outstrip the number of visas the new government is willing to supply.
“Those considering using the investor visa scheme should be getting the wheels in motion before any further restrictions are made to the qualifying criteria,” Robins added.
“Investing in the UK ahead of making an application for an investor visa can smooth the process out considerably.”
Falling success rate
Radius’s research also found that the success rate of Chinese nationals applying for investor visas had dropped to 85% in 2014 from 99% in 2013.
The specialist provider of EIS and SEIS investments said that this fall is likely to be caused by some applicants not having received the best advice about how to apply at a time of such rapidly rising demand.
Samuel Hu, head of overseas investors at Radius Equity, said: “The already high level of interest from overseas investors continues to grow.
“Most failed applications will have resulted from shortcomings in the preparation of application documents, or in proving the necessary financial qualifications have been met.
“This underlines the importance for applicants of getting access to the best advice.”
The Home Office introduced a new rule last year, meaning the minimum amount of qualifying investment eligible for an investor visa rose to £2m.