If you have at least £2 million to invest and wish to make the UK your home, you should consider the Tier 1 Investor visa.
Investor status confers a great deal of freedom in the UK and can lead to accelerated settlement depending on the amount invested. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa requires an individual to be engaged full time in the running of the business. A Tier 1 Investor visa places no such restriction but still allows an individual to establish a business or take employment (subject to restrictions for doctors and professional sportspeople).
Approval is initially given for a period of 3 years and 4 months if applying from outside the UK, or 3 years if applying from within the UK. Depending upon the amount you invest, you could qualify for settlement after 2, 3 or 5 years.
RLegal will guide you through the complex evidential requirements and assist you from start to finish with your application. We have over 20 years experience of lodging successful applications in this and its predecessor categories. We will take the worry out of the process and give you peace of mind.
Alternatively click on the links below for frequently asked questions.
An investor must:
- have £2,000,000 or more of their own money for investment in the UK; or
- intend to invest not less than £2,000,000 of their capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies (excluding those principally engaged in property investment and investment through deposits with the bank, building society or other enterprise whose normal business includes acceptance of deposits).
The above funds must be lawfully derived.
There is no requirement for an investor to demonstrate competence in the English language or additional funds for maintenance.
The funds may be held in a regulated financial institution and can be in the name of the applicant or their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner.
The funds must be freely transferable and disposable in the UK. With the exception of funds jointly held by an applicant and partner (both must have unrestricted rights of transfer and disposal), no other person should have a controlling interest in the money.
It is not permissible to mix personal money and borrowed money in order to meet the total £2,000,000 investment. Similarly, assets or possessions such as property cannot be used to demonstrate sufficient funds for investment for initial applications.
If you have not held the required funds for 90 days or more, it will be necessary to document the source of the funds.
“Disposable in the UK” means that all the capital required to qualify must be freely transferable to the UK and convertible to sterling. Specific evidence of this, such as a letter from the bank or authorities concerned, will be required.
The UK investment should be made within 3 months of the grant of permission or entry to the UK, whichever is the later.
Applicants granted Tier 1 Investor permission prior to 6 November are required to show that they have invested and maintained the £1million in the UK, of which £750,000 must be in the specified ways.
If any of the funds were invested in property - as previously allowed, the applicant will need to show that the £250,000 of un-mortgaged funds has retained its value.
Applicants for a Tier 1 Investor visa must pay an 'NHS surcharge' of £200 per year in advance for each whole or part year of the visa.
Outside the UK
Applicants not presently in the UK must apply for a Tier 1 Investor visa to enter the UK in the correct capacity. The application should be lodged at the nearest British overseas post authorised to deal with such matters. The process involves submission of an online application and original specified evidence and attendance at a biometric appointment. Applicants from certain specified countries may be required to undertake a tuberculosis test.
Processing times vary enormously between countries and can be from 1-6 weeks or more.
Inside the UK
For those already in the UK in Tiers 1, 2 or 4 it is possible to apply direct to the Home Office via either the postal system or premium same day service. A super premium service is also available where the Home Office will visit a location of your choosing to take your biometric data. The process involves submission of an application with specified evidence and attendance at a biometric appointment. Premium and super premium applications are processed in 1 day.
Postal applications vary but are typically between 3-6 weeks. Investor applications are prioritised by the Home Office.
Outside the UK
Some (but not all) British visa application centres around the world offer a ‘Priority Settlement Service’. This is an additional cost service that will place your application at the front of the processing queue. Use of this service may speed up the processing time for your application, however, the Home Office do not guarantee expedited treatment.
Inside the UK
Postal application £1530
Super premium application £8750
Within 3 months of being granted your visa (if you are already in the UK), or 3 months of your first entry to the UK after being granted your visa (if you apply from overseas) you should invest your funds in approved investments such as UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
It is not permissible to invest in companies principally engaged in property investment or through deposits with the bank, building society, etc).
If you wish to gain accelerated indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) after 3 years by bringing £5 million to the UK, you would need to invest £3.75 million in approved investments.
If you wish to gain accelerated indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) after 2 years by bringing £10 million to the UK, you would need to invest £7.5 million in approved investments.
If you rely on an investment of £2 million, you will need to extend your initial visa after 3 years. Before the expiry of your visa you will need to apply for an extension for a further 2 years.
Applicants must pay an 'NHS surcharge' of £200 per year in advance for each whole or part year of the visa.
Once you have completed 5 years in the UK you should be eligible for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence).
An investor can be accompanied by their spouse/civil partner/long term partner and children under the age of 18 to the UK. Dependants will be granted permission to stay in the UK in line with the investor.
Each dependant must pay an 'NHS surcharge' of £200 per year in advance for each whole or part year of the visa.
After five years continuous stay in the UK in this category, an applicant can apply for indefinite leave to remain, (settlement or permanent residence as it is commonly known).
Applicants should have maintained their minimum investment throughout their stay in the UK and must have absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 month period counting back from the date of application.
There are accelerated routes to settlement for applicants wishing to invest £10 million (2 years) or £5 million (3 years). If your absences exceed the permitted limits, you can still apply for an extension of permission.
Comprehensive legal advice.
Ensuring your application meets the legal requirements.
Assistance with compiling the evidence required for this category including liaising with your bank.
Completion and submission of all forms.
Booking a biometric appointment.
Ongoing liaison with the authorities where possible.