Tier 1 Investor Visa
The UK Investor Visa is a high-value migrant route that allows foreign nationals to live and settle in the UK along with their family through financial investment. Contact us today for a free assessment today.
You can no longer apply for a new Tier 1 (Investor) visa. However, if you already have this visa (or had one in the last 12 months and it was your most recent visa), you can still apply for settlement or an extension of 2 years.
The Tier 1 Investor visa enables applicants to live in the UK by making a financial investment in the UK economy. There are no English language requirements or criteria to show maintenance funds, the application is based on your ability to invest £2 million in the UK within 90 days of your visa being granted.
It is possible to invest more funds to secure permanent residence quicker than the usual 5 year period. 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.
To ensure that you are eligible for a UK Investor Visa, our expert Immigration advisors will advise you on your investment options and qualifying investments. For more information and a free assessment of your case, please contact us on +44 208 757 5751 or fill in our online contact form by clicking here.
What are the requirements for a Tier 1 Investor Visa to the UK?
To qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa, the investment funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and they are freely available to spend and invest in the UK. In addition, you must be able to demonstrate that:
- you intend to invest at least £2 million in share capital or loan capital in UK companies;
- the investment funds belong to you or your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner;
- you have held the funds for at least two years or, if not, meet the Home Office’s rules on the source of funds (for example, the funds are from a gift, the proceeds of the sale of assets, a business, inheritance, a financial award, a divorce settlement); and
- you have opened a UK bank account with a regulated UK bank;
- If applying for a UK Investor visa from overseas, you and any adult dependants will need to provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country that you have lived in for at least 12 months in the last 10 years.
What investments qualify for a UK Investor Visa?
The Home Office may check that the funds are from a credible and lawful source and that the applicant has control of the funds. Also, you must demonstrate that you have maintained the same level of investment for the whole of the remaining period of your leave. And that the investment was made no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which led to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 Investor Migrant.
The following investments qualify for a UK Investor Visa:
- share capital or loan capital (for example, corporate bonds) in active and trading UK registered companies, other than those principally engaged in property investment, property management or property development; or
- pooled investment vehicles which receive funding from the UK government or a devolved government department or one of its agencies.
Investing in UK Government Bonds is no longer allowed under the Immigration Rules.
What investments do not qualify under the Tier 1 Investor Visa scheme?
Under the Immigration Rules, there are restrictions on the types of investments allowed, such as:
- Funds invested in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development. This category includes companies whose main objective is to earn a return through rental income. However, investment in construction firms, manufacturers or retailers who own their own premises would be counted.
- Funds invested in open-ended investment companies, investment trust companies or pooled investment vehicles that cannot be guaranteed to be in the UK.
- The funds cannot be solely invested by using deposits with a bank, building society or other enterprises whose normal course of business includes the acceptance of deposits.
- ISAs, premium bonds and saving certificates issued by the National Savings and Investment Agency.
- Funds invested via an offshore company or trust.
- Any type of leveraged investment funds will not be accepted.
Tier 1 Investor Visa extensions and ILR
Applicants can apply to come to the UK for an initial period of 3 years and 4 months. If you are switching into this category from within the UK, you will be granted leave for 3 years.
Applicants can then apply for further leave to remain in the UK period of 2 years, providing you meet the criteria for extension applications. Under the extension criteria you must demonstrate that:
- you have at least £2 million under your control in the UK;
- you have invested those funds in share capital or loan capital in UK companies; and
- you invested this sum within three months of the date of your arrival into the UK, or the date that your original visa application was approved.
An application for Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent settlement under the Tier 1 Visa route can be made by demonstrating the following:
- that you have held a Tier 1 Investor visa for a period of at least 5 years;
- you have at least £2 million under your control in the UK;
- you have invested those funds in share capital or loan capital in UK companies;
- you invested this sum within three months of the date of your arrival into the UK, or the date that your original visa application was approved;
- you have spent the specified period in the UK and during this time have not breached any UK immigration laws;
- you meet the requirements in relation to absences; and
- you have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test.
An application for accelerated settlement can be made after 2 years if the applicant has increased their investment to £10 million or 3 years if the investment has been increased to £5 million.
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