Gaining permanent residency through investment
The UK is one example of a country which offers investors the opportunity to gain permanent residency under its Investor Visa (formerly known as the Tier 1 Investor Visa).
There is, of course, an eligibility criteria which must be met by those hoping to invest in the UK’s economy in exchange for permanent residency in the UK.
Namely, the individual must invest a specified minimum amount and must be able to prove that this money has not been acquired through illegal means, such as money laundering.
How much money must I invest in order to gain permanent residency in the UK?
To acquire the UK Investor Visa, you must invest a minimum of at least £2,000,000 in order to qualify. However, you will not be granted permanent residency automatically.
You can acquire permanent residency in as little as two years via the Investor Visa, however it can take up to five years for those who invest the minimum amount of £2 million.
The time it takes for you to be eligible to apply for permanent residency in the UK depends on the amount you are willing and able to invest:
- If you invest the minimum amount of £2 million, you can apply for permanent residency (known as Indefinite Leave to Remain) in 5 years
- If you invest £5 million, you can apply for ILR in the UK in 3 years
- If you invest £10 million, you can apply for ILR in just 2 years
What are the benefits of investing in the UK?
Beyond investors having the ability to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in such a short amount of time, there are a range of other benefits which come with investing in the UK’s economy.
The United Kingdom has one of the strongest economies in the world and is renowned for being a country of immense growth, talent and one which boasts a rich cultural history. Investors are able to enjoy the UK’s exceptional education system, healthcare, and high quality of life.
As an Investor Visa holder, you are granted the freedom to work, live and study in the UK if you wish to; there are very few restrictions as to what you can and cannot do.
Investor Visa holders do not have to meet the English language requirement – this is very rare, as almost every other UK visa route requires that the applicant demonstrates a certain level of skill in the English language.
In addition to these benefits, you are also able to naturalise as a British citizen after living in the UK for just 5 years if you invest at least £2 million into the economy. You can also acquire citizenship for your entire family.
Am I eligible to be a UK investor?
As previously explained, to qualify under the Investor Visa route, you must make a minimum investment of £2 million. Further requirements include:
- You must be at least 18 or over to apply for the Investor Visa
- You must be able to prove that you have held the investment funds in your bank account for at least 2 years, otherwise you must prove where the money came from (e.g. through inheritance)
- You must be able to show that your investment funds can be transferred to the UK and converted to sterling
- You must have a clean criminal and immigration record
If you are using your partner’s money to invest, you must provide the following documents to the Home Office:
- Your certificate of marriage/civil partnership, or proof that you are in a long-term relationship of at least 2 years with your partner
- A statement from your partner confirming that they provide permission for you to control the funds in the UK
- A letter from a legal adviser stating that this declaration is valid
The above requirements are not the same as those which must be met when applying for residency and citizenship in the UK. You will be required to meet the relevant criteria for either residency or citizenship, depending on which you apply for.
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