The Tier 1 Investor visa was specifically designed and introduced for high net worth persons from outside the European Economic Area. Over the years, the Tier 1 Investor visa has been extremely popular due to the benefits that come with it; such as the early settlement option. However, earlier this year on 29 March 2019 the Home Office introduced stringent changes to cut down on disingenuous Tier 1 Investor visa applications. The Tier 1 Investor visa is open to high net worth persons who wish to invest a minimum of £2,000,000 in the UK and in return they will be granted leave to enter for a period of 3 years and 4 months.
What are the requirements for a Tier 1 Investor visa?
The Tier 1 Investor visa application is made under paragraph 245 of the UK Immigration Rules. The Home Office has also published Appendixes and Policy Guidance on this visa to assist with preparing and submitting an application. To submit a successful application the following requirements must be met:
- You must be 18 or over and have good character (an overseas criminal record certificate must be submitted);
- You must be a national of a country from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland;
- You must have opened a UK bank account;
- You must hold and have control of at least £2,000,000 (investment amount). The investment amount must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and freely available for investment;
- You must be able to prove that the investment amount is from a legitimate source; and
- There is no maintenance or an English language requirement.
The above requirements have been summarised and each requirement is further broken down in the Immigration Rules andHome Office Policy Guidance.
What are the new changes introduced for Tier 1 Investors?
Initially, there were strong rumours suggesting that the Home Office was going to scrap the Tier 1 Investor visa as a whole and replace it with a new visa but at the last minute decided against this. This was in response to strong allegations suggesting that the Home Office allowed Tier 1 Investors to invest in the UK despite there being questions marks regarding the source of investment (£2,000,000) and whether the investment was obtained illegitimately. It is clear that Tier 1 Investors add significant financial value to the UK’s economy. However, these allegations are yet to be proven and appear to be fallacious. Nevertheless, the Home Office acted and introduced a number of changes to the Immigration Rules in relation to the source of investment (£2,000,000).
The first change is in relation to the source of funds which means that Applicants must now provide a detailed paper trace of the origin of the investment money. The UK banks are now required to confirm in writing that they have carried out all of the relevant due diligence and Know Your Client checks. The second major change is the definition of what constitutes to an active and trading UK company. There are a number of conditions that must be satisfied such as the company must be registered with Companies House in the UK, registration with HMRC, accounts showing the activity of trading and two employees who are not directors. The third change was in relation to the source and control of funds. The Home Office now expects to see evidence confirming that Applicants are in control and liberty to freely invest the investment sum. Further, Applicants must provide evidence that the money has not been acquired through unlawful conduct. If the money is from third party finding there should be no issues with character and association for the third party providing funding. Another change is that UK Government bonds no longer qualify as an investment. The rules around investment vehicles are being relaxed and Applicants are advised to consider this lucrative option.
Applying for accelerated settlement as a Tier 1 Investor
The Tier 1 Investor visa caters for those who wish to apply for accelerated settlement (indefinite leave to remain). In certain circumstances, Applicants can apply for early settlement. The usual route to settlement requires Applicants to spend 5 years on the Tier 1 Investor visa. However, Applicants can apply for settlement after 2 years if they have invested £10,000,000. Alternatively, Applicants can apply for settlement after 3 years if they have invested £5,000,000 in the UK. In addition to the investment requirement, Applicants must also meet the other requirements for indefinite leave to remain.
Using Legal Representation to submit a successful Tier 1 Investor Visa 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 Visa 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.
Successful Tier 1 Investor Visa Applications
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 Visa 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 Visa 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 Visa application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.