The Tier 1 Investor visa was introduced to attract high net worth individuals who wish to relocate to the United Kingdom. The Tier 1 Investor visa is a Point Based System (PBS) application made under the Immigration Rules. The sole purpose of the Tier 1 Investor visa is to enable to high net worth business people to establish a presence in the UK. There are many benefits for Applicants who acquire a Tier 1 Investor visa such as early accelerated settlement rights. Unlike the other business-related applications, the Tier 1 Investor visa application has no maintenance or English language requirement.
What is a Tier 1 Investor Visa?
The Tier 1 Investor visa category is for overseas business people who wish to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. The Tier 1 Investor visa allows Applicants to invest in UK Government Bonds, Share Capital or Loan Capital in active and trading UK registered companies. A key attraction for the Tier 1 Investor visa is the rights given to the dependents of the Tier 1 Investor. A Tier 1 Investor can apply for his/her immediate family members to accompany him/her in the UK and potentially share settlement rights.
It is important your Tier 1 Investor application is prepared as strongly as possible to ensure it has the best chance of success. A Tier 1 Investor visa application must be prepared watertight as there is a limited number of Tier 1 Investor visas issued every year by the Home Office. The main obstacle for this particular application is the control and source of funding (please see below for more information). In order to submit a successful Tier 1 Investor application, contact our business immigration team for a free telephone case assessment.
How to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa?
The relevant rules for a Tier 1 Investor visa application can be found under Paragraph 245E of the Immigration Rules. In addition to Paragraph 245E of the Immigration Rules, the relevant Appendixes must be considered as well as the Home Office Policy Guidance. If you wish to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, you must be a national of a country from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland and must have a minimum of £2,000,000 to invest in the UK. You may be able to apply from within the UK (please see below).
Applicants must also meet the following eligibility criteria:
- you must be 18 or over;
- you must be able to provide evidence that the money belongs to you, your spouse or partner;
- you must have opened a UK bank account;
- your funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions; and
- your funds must be free to spend (‘disposable’) in the UK.
Applicants and dependents aged 18 or above must submit an overseas criminal record certificate with their Tier 1 Investor visa application. Applicants must provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country an Applicant has been present in continuously or cumulatively for 12 months or more, in the 10 years prior to the date of the application.
Is there a Maintenance or English Language Requirement for a Tier 1 Investor Visa application?
Unlike other business related applications Tier 1 Investor visa Applicants are not required to meet an English language requirement or maintenance requirement.
How long is a Tier 1 Investor Visa valid?
The Tier 1 Investor visa is valid for 3 years and 4 months and an application to extend leave under this category can also be made.
Can I Switch into a Tier 1 Investor Visa?
Yes, it is possible to submit an application within the United Kingdom to switch into the Tier 1 Investor visa category. In order to successfully switch into the Tier 1 Investor visa Applicants must have valid leave in the United Kingdom at the time of their UK Visas and Immigration application. Popular switching categories are as noted below:
- Highly Skilled Migrant to Tier 1 Investor visa;
- Tier 1 General or Tier 1 Entrepreneur to Tier 1 Investor;
- Any Tier 2 visa to Tier 1 Investor; or
- Tier 4 General to Tier 1 Investor (subject to conditions in the Policy Guidance).
It should be noted however, Applicants on tourist visas or standard visitor visas cannot switch into the Tier 1 Investor category within the United Kingdom and an Entry Clearance application must be submitted.
What are the key considerations for a Tier 1 Investor Visa?
The key considerations for Applicants to submit a successful Tier 1 Investor visa application demonstrate the source and control of funds. Applicants must be able to show that the minimum investment amount of £2 million is ready and available. The funds must have been held for a minimum of 3 consecutive months. If the funds have not been held for 3 consecutive months Applicants are then required to provide evidence of the source of funding. The Home Office will then carry out an assessment to decide whether the funds are credible and genuinely available.
The Home Office must have no reason to suspect that the funds available are not under the control of the Applicant. The funds must be freely available and must not be acquired unlawfully or have any association with any unethical or unlawful activity.
How to apply for early settlement under the Tier 1 Investor Visa?
Tier 1 Investors can apply for settlement also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom after 5 years of continuous leave under the Tier 1 Investor visa route. It is important to note Applicants cannot combine leave under different categories when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain under the Tier 1 Investor visa route.
The Home Office has acknowledged the importance of foreign investment in the United Kingdom. To reward Tier 1 Investors who make significant investment improving the economy and prosperity it has introduced an Accelerated Settlement option for Tier 1 Investors. The purpose of introducing an Accelerated Settlement is to encourage overseas migrants to invest and settle in the United Kingdom. Applicants will be eligible for Accelerated Settlement if they can show the following:
- Investment has been in the United Kingdom by way of UK Government Bonds, Share Capital or Loan Capital in active and trading UK registered companies;
- Applicants who wish to apply for the Accelerated after 2 years must demonstrate a minimum investment of £10 million; or
- Applicants who wish to apply for the Accelerated after 3 years must demonstrate a minimum investment of £5 million; or
- Applicants wish to apply using the standard Indefinite Leave to Remain (5 years) route must demonstrate a minimum investment of £2 million.
Applicants can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain up to 28 days before reaching the qualifying period.
Using Legal Representation to submit a successful Tier 1 Investor application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Tier 1 Investor application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully submit a Tier 1 Investor application
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a Tier 1 Investor application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a Tier 1 Investor application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Tier 1 Investor application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.