Tier 1 Investor Visa

The UK is one of the leading business locations in the world; its proximity to Europe makes it a natural choice to locate for investors coming from outside the EU and it is home to London, the world’s leading financial centre. The UK’s Points-Based System caters to those wishing to invest in a business in the UK by way of an Investor visa. If you are a high net worth individual who wishes to come to the UK on an Investor visa, our expert business immigration team can assist you with your queries and assist you in the preparation of an application to the Home Office. We can guide you step by step and ensure that you submit a properly executed application with the requisite documents which confirm that you meet all the requirements of the relevant Immigration Rules.

The Tier 1 Investor visa category of the Points-Based System is open to those migrants who wish to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. This route is attractive due to the fact that applicants do not need to show evidence of maintenance nor demonstrate that they meet the English language requirements. This route demonstrates the UK government’s desire to attract high net worth individuals to make substantial investments in the UK.

What is a Tier 1 Investor visa?

The Tier 1 Investor visa category is for high net worth individuals who wish to make a minimum investment of 2 million GBP in the UK. Applicants who are successful in their UKVI application will be granted a 30-month visa. Under this visa category, there is no maintenance or English language requirement. It is well known that the UK Government encourages Tier 1 Investor visa applications but in recent times, we have witnessed a stricter approach from the Home Office in assessing the investment funds.

How do I get a Tier 1 visa for UK?

Generally, those who wish to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa must provide evidence that they have money of their own, under their own control held in a regulated financial institution and which is disposable in the UK. This amount must not be less than £2 million and applicants must be able to show that they have opened a bank account with the UK regulated bank for the purposes of investing an amount not less than £2 million.

Applicants who apply for this type of visa are usually from outside the UK but there are some circumstances where migrants already in the UK may be able to apply for the Investor visa from the UK. There are also limitations on what you can invest in, for example, you are not allowed to invest in companies engaged in property investment, property manager or property development.

In order to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, you need to be from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland and must have a minimum of £2 million to invest in the UK.

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.

To ensure your application is processed without delay, you should ensure you provide all of the necessary documents which show how you have access to the funds and meet all the eligibility criteria. Not submitting important documents or failing to highlight them can result in the application being rejected and having to start again and pay further Home Office fees. Our expert immigration solicitors would be happy to meet with you to discuss whether you are eligible to apply and if you are our solicitors can assist you in the preparation of an initial application in this category.

Business Investors can use an Investment Vehicle to Study and Work in the UK under the Tier 1 Investor Visa Application Route

An Investment Vehicle is a bespoke investment product tailored to the needs of a Tier 1 Investor Visa Applicant for the purposes of studying/working in the UK or investing in property in the UK.  Applicants will need to ensure that all of the requirements of the Tier 1 Investor Visa can be met under the UK Immigration Rules and should get advice from our specialist immigration solicitors and barristers, who will then work in conjunction with our affiliated Wealth Management Company who will be able to give specific and detailed financial advice about the appropriate Investment Vehicle. The Investment Vehicle will then mature on the Applicant obtaining a settlement visa, either under the 2 year or 3 years Accelerated Settlement Route, or the standard 5 Year route.

Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension

If successful, you will initially be granted leave to remain for 3 years and 4 months and will have the opportunity to extend your visa for another 2 years thereafter.

Following the immigration rules changes in November 2014, the rules for extending an Investor visa differ depending on when the initial leave was granted. Generally, the current immigration rules require the following:

Investor visa applications approved before 6 November 2014: you will need to show that you:

  • have at least £1 million under your control in the UK
  • have invested at least £750,000 (or 75%) of that in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies
  • invested this sum within 3 months of your ‘investor start date’

Investor visas applications approved on or after 6 November 2014:  you will need to show that you:

  • have at least £2 million under your control in the UK
  • have invested those funds in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies
  • invested this sum within 3 months of your ‘investor start date’

You may be able to include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend – including children who have turned 18 during your stay.

Accelerated Settlement Under the Tier 1 Investor Visa Route

Applicants can apply for settlement under the Tier 1 Investor route once they have reached 5 years’ continuous leave in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor. However, there are also accelerated settlement routes after 2 years’ or 3 years’ continuous residence for applicants who can meet additional investment criteria:

  • 5 year settlement route if the applicant can demonstrate that they have invested £2 million (or £1 million if initially granted leave as a Tier 1 Investor before 6 November 2014);
  • 3 year settlement route if the applicant can demonstrate that they have invested £5 million;
  • 2 year settlement route if the applicant can demonstrate that they have invested £10 million.

All Tier 1 Investor settlement applicants must also ensure they do not have over the total number of days absences from the UK and can demonstrate that all of the other requirements for indefinite leave to remain have been met. Our Business Immigration Solicitors in London can advise on all of the requirements for settlement under the Tier 1 Investor Visa route during a consultation.

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced by the Home Office on 6 April 2015 and applies to temporary, non-EEA migrants who are coming to the UK for more than 6 months. Payment for IHS is collected by the Home Office and goes directly to the National Health Service (NHS).

If instructed, our team of expert lawyers can consider whether you will need to pay the IHS. If you wish to consider your options, please contact our team today and arrange a meeting with a qualified immigration solicitor who can advise you of your options.

Expert Immigration Solicitors for High Net Worth Visa Applicants

If you wish to consider your options of applying for a Tier 1 Investor visa, please contact a member of our business immigration team who will arrange for you to meet with a qualified solicitor who can explore your options with you.

We are a UK law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our professional business immigration team today and we can offer you a consultation in person or via telephone or Skype so we can explore your options. You can leave us a message on our Contact Form or give us a call on 02071830570.

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