The Tier 1 Investor Visa route under the Points Based System demonstrates the UK government’s desire to attract high net worth individuals to make lucrative investments in the UK. Tier 1 Investor Visas are suitable for those who wish to make a substantial investment in the UK. A job offer is not necessary and the application will be judged on the applicants ability to invest.
We were recently instructed by a Libyan national who was lawfully residing and working in the United Arab Emirates. Our client had a long history of association with the UK including a number of multi-visit visas over the last 10 years. Our client wished to apply for entry clearance to the UK (along with his wife and child as his dependents) with the intention of making a substantial financial investment in the UK as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant.We received news that his visa along with his dependents had been granted.
UK Tier 1 Investor Visa – the advantages
The UK Tier 1 Investor route has become attractive due to the fact that the applicant does not need to show evidence of maintenance nor demonstrate that they meet the English language requirements.
The visa can be granted for three years and individuals can switch into this category whilst already present legally in the UK. If an applicant is successful under the points-based system, they are allowed to bring dependants (children under 18 years of age, a husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner) to the UK, as long as they are given entry clearance or permission to stay (known as ‘leave to remain’).
The UK Investor visa category is designed for migrants who want to make a substantial financial investment in the UK without having to take the more proactive steps that are involved with an “Entrepreneur” or sole representative visa categories. Usefully, there is no “cap” on Investor visa numbers which allows any number of individuals to apply to enter or leave to remain in the UK.
Wealth Management Companies Concerns Over Home Office’s Checks on Investor visas
There has been growing concern amongst wealth management companies over the Home Office’s checks into the origin of foreign investor’s funds, due to the increase of people entering the UK on investor visas.
When Tier 1 Investor visas were introduced in 2008, only 43 foreign nationals were successful in applying. But in 2012 the number of successful cases has rapidly increased up to 470, with the majority of applicants being from China and Russia. This has raised a few eyebrows with some wealth managers, who are involved in demonstrating foreign millionaires’ funds and their UK investments. Alex Ruffel, a partner at Berkeley law firm has said, “There is a disconnect between what we do to establish the source of funds, and what the Home Office describes as establishing the source of funds.”
Alex Ruffles went on to state that her firm along with other law firms and wealth managers must follow the anti-laundering legislation – which puts responsibility on them to find out if the applicant’s source of money has “anything tainted about it”.
She continues that the Home Office “are concerned about how did it get into the hands of the person who has it, we’re more concerned with how it was actually earned – its true source.”
Successful Tier 1 Investor Visa Applications
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a Tier 1 Investor Visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment of your case.