The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is your ultimate route to invest in and relocate to the UK with the entire family, for an incredibly high standard of living, security, stability and the world-class education that the UK has to offer.
Eligibility for Permanent residence in 3–5 years – citizenship in 5–6 years.
The United Kingdom has always been and remains an exciting prospect for overseas investors. The Tier 1 (Investor) Program enables investors and their families who make a substantial financial investment into the UK economy, to enter or remain in the UK.
The Tier 1 (Investor) is a passive investment program, designed for high-net-worth individuals with minimum access to at least £2,000,000. A substantial investment can be made into share capital or loan capital in active trading UK companies.
Under the Tier 1 (Investor) Program, the initial visa is granted for 3 years and 4 months (or 3 years if processed in the UK). A subsequent extension can be applied for, providing all criteria are met. Eligibility for permanent settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) is after 5 years of holding a Tier 1 (Investor) visa and demonstrating that a £2 million investment has been maintained in accordance with 114 requirements. Accelerated settlement is available and dependent on the amount of invested capital – 10 million leads to ILR after 2 years, or 5 million for ILR in 3 years.
Under this option, you are not obligated to have an English language qualification, however, when applying for indefinite leave to remain, there will be an English language requirement that has to be met.
It is also possible to switch into the Tier 1 (Investor) category if the applicant is already in the UK under Tier 1, 2 or 4 of the points-based system.
Tier 1 (Investor) visa allows you to stay in the UK for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months. You can apply to extend your visa for another 2 years or apply for accelerated settlement if:
- You invest £10 million – eligible for settlement after 2 years and British citizenship after 5 years in the country.
- You invest £5 million – eligible for settlement after 3 years and British citizenship after 5 years in the country.
Eligibility Criteria (initial application):
To apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa you will be required to satisfy the following criteria:
- be 18 or over
- have access to at least £2,000,000 in investment funds, which has been held for a consecutive 2-year period
- be able to prove that the money belongs to you
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- have opened a UK bank account. The bank must carry out all required due diligence checks and Know Your Customer enquiries and provide confirmation of this
- no English language requirements or test for initial application
- no individual maintenance requirement
If you do not intend to settle in the UK, there is no residency requirements to follow, you may extend your visa for 2 years afterwards. Those who wish to apply for permanent residency (ILR), will be required to meet particular residency requirements in the UK.
The immigration rules regarding the investment funds are complex and difficult to follow.
The Home Office will refuse applications where there is not enough evidence to prove the investment funds belong to the applicant and where the funds are not disposable to be used in the UK.
- invest £2,000,000 or more in share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. (Investment in UK government bonds is being excluded, to incentivise investors towards other forms of investment which have a greater need to attract additional investment funds.)
- work or study
- apply to settle after 2 years if you invest £10 million
- apply to settle after 3 years if you invest £5 million
- apply to settle after 5 years if you invest £2 million
- enter with your family or they can join you at a later date during the term of your visa
- invest in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development, however you can invest in a company engaged in construction
- work as a professional sportsperson, sports coach or dentist
- receive public funds
- The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
- Priority Service may be available for entry clearance applications which should result in a decision within 10–15 days.
- Standard processing times for entry clearance applications is approx. 3 weeks and for applications submitted from within in the UK, processing time is currently approx. 8–12 weeks.