Tier 1 (Investor) visa
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
- be 18 or over
- have access to at least £2,000,000 in investment funds
- 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
Your funds must be:
- held in one or more accounts at a financial institution which is regulated by a Financial Regulatory body in the UK or offshore
- held for a consecutive 2-year period, the most recent date of which cannot be more than one calendar month prior to the date of application. If the funds have not been held for this length of time, then evidence regarding their source needs to be submitted
- your money can be in the UK or overseas when you apply
- free to be transferred (‘disposable’) or invested in the UK
- any intermediary vehicles must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regardless of length of chain, with evidence of the final investment destination and the method of transfer provided
- the definition of “active and trading” companies is being strengthened so that there must be stronger evidence that such companies are trading 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
Residency Requirements and Time Spent Outside the UK:
- 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) are not permitted to spend more than 180 days outside the UK in any rolling 12-month period.
- In order to obtain UK citizenship, the applicant must have spent no more than 450 days outside of the UK during the 5-year qualifying period, and no more than 90 days in the last 12 months.
Switching to the Tier 1 (Investor) category:
- Tier 1 General
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur
- Tier 1 Post Study Work
- Any Tier 2 category
Tier 1 (Investor) visa holders can switch into certain other immigration categories without leaving the UK – Please speak to your legal advisor for more details
- 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 approximately 3 weeks and for applications submitted from within in the UK, processing time is currently approximately 8–12 weeks.
Eligibility Criteria (extension application):
- You have at least £2,000,000 under your control in the UK
- You have invested those funds in share capital or loan capital in active trading UK companies
- You have invested this sum within 3 months of your ‘investor start date’