The number of applications under the Tier 1 Investor route has fallen dramatically since the government raised the minimum investment threshold from £1m to £2m last year.
Only 136 applications were made in the first nine months of 2015, compared to 780 over the same period the year before – a drop of 83%.
The number of applications made under Tier 1 Investor had previously increased every year from 2009, the first full year in which the scheme was in operation.
In the whole of 2014, a record 1,290 applications were made.
There has been a notable drop in applications from Chinese and Russian investors. In the last quarter of 2014, there were 295 and 65 applications from Chinese and Russian nationals respectively. In the first six months of 2015, those numbers dropped to just 20 each.
Some experts have attributed the fall in applications made from nationals of both countries to their slowing economies and weakened currencies against the pound, plus the introduction of more stringent criminal checks.