What is the Tier 1 Investor Visa?
The Tier 1 Investor visa is closed to new applicants. However, you will still be able to apply to extend your Tier 1 Investor visa, apply for indefinite leave to remain, or have your family members join you in the UK with your current visa.
The Tier 1 Investor Visa is one of the UK business visas, this visa types allows investors to enter and live in the UK providing that they invest at least £2 million into active and trading UK businesses.
The Tier 1 Investor Visa is a high-value migration route, this means that you are not required to have a job offer before you can apply for an Investor Visa and your application will not need to be sponsored. The application is almost entirely based on your ability to invest the required amount within the first three months of your visa being granted.
With the Tier 1 Investor Visa you can live in the UK for up to 3 years and 4 months, if you wish to remain living in the United Kingdom after this time you can also apply for an extension of your Investor Visa for a further 2 years.
There is no English Language requirement and no expectation to show sufficient maintenance funds. For investors who have £2 million or more available, this is a great route to entering the country and securing UK citizenship by investment.
Who is eligible for the Tier 1 Investor Visa?
Unlike most other points-based visa applications, there are few requirements for the Tier 1 Investor Visa UK. To meet the eligibility for this visa you must have £2 million available to you, your spouse or your long-term partner, the only other requirements that you need to meet are that you must:
- Be at least 18 years old or over
- Be able to prove that the money belongs to either you or your husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner
- Have opened an account at a UK regulated bank to use for your funds
Your funds must be:
- held in one or more regulated financial institutions
- free to spend (‘disposable’) in the UK
You will not need to pass an English Language test, be sponsored by a UK business or institution or prove you have adequate maintenance.
This type of Tier 1 Visa requires you to invest all £2 million into UK businesses within the first three months of your visa being granted, so it is important that the money you use for your application is freely available for you to invest with before you apply for your visa.
How can I apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa?
You must apply online for the Tier 1 Investor Visa, you can do this using the application form available on the gov.uk website.
When applying you will need to submit the following documents:
- A current passport or other valid travel identification
- Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
- A criminal record certificate from any country you have stayed in for a total of 12 months or more over the last 10 years
You will also need to submit supporting documents to prove that you have the investment funds available and that you have a UK bank account. If using your own money you must show how much money you have and where it’s being held, where the money came from if you’ve had the money for less than 2 years and that the money can be transferred to the UK and converted to sterling.
If you are using your partners money you will need to submit a certificate of marriage or civil partnership, or proof of a long-term relationship (at least 2 years), a statement from your partner confirming that they will allow you to control the funds in the UK and a letter from a legal adviser stating that the declaration is valid.
To prove that you have a bank account at a UK regulated bank you will need to submit a letter which must:
- Be issued by an authorised official
- Be dated within 3 months of your application
- Be on the official headed paper of the bank
- State your name and account number
- Confirm you’ve opened an account with the bank in order to invest £2,000,000
- Confirm the bank is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Confirm checks for money-laundering have been carried out
As well as completing the online application process, you will also need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to have your biometric information taken, this is your photograph and fingerprints. This will be used for you Biometric Residence Permit which you must collect within 10 days of your entry into the UK.
What can Investor Visa holders do?
Investor Visa holders can live, work and study in the UK for 3 years and 4 months, they can also apply for an extension of their Tier 1 Investor Visa.
Investor Visa holders can make the UK their permanent home by applying for settlement. As an Investor Visa holder you could apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain quicker than most other visa holders depending on how much money they invest in the UK.
Although Investor Visa holders can live work and study in the UK they cannot work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach or get public funds.
Investor Visa holders also cannot work as doctors or dentists in training unless they:
- Have a bachelor’s degree or above in medicine or dentistry from a UK institution that holds a Student sponsor licence
- Worked as a doctor or dentist in training the last time they were in the UK
If you’ve had a Tier 1 Investor visa in the UK long enough, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
When you will be able to apply for ILR depends on when you first applied for your visa.
On or after 6 November 2014
If you applied on or after 6 November 2014, when you’ll be able to apply for ILR depends on the amount of money you’ve invested.
To be eligible after 2 years, the amount is £10 million. For 3 years, the amount is £5 million. For 5 years, the amount is £2 million.
You must have invested those funds in share capital, loan capital or UK government bonds in active UK companies within 3 months of your visa start date.
Before 6 November 2014
If you applied before 6 November 2014, when you’ll be able to apply for ILR depends on your level of investment.
To be eligible after 2 years, you must have invested £10 million in cash, £20 million in personal assets or £10 million worth of loans from a UK-regulated financial institution.
To be eligible after 3 years, you must have invested £5 million in cash, £10 million in personal assets or £5 million worth of loans from a UK-regulated financial institution.
To be eligible after 5 years, you must have invested £1 million in cash, £2 million in personal assets or £1 million worth of loans from a UK-regulated financial institution.
Fees and other requirements
You will not be able to spend time spent on any other visa when applying for ILR with a Tier 1 Investor visa.
In addition, you must not have spent any more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 month period.
Lastly, if you’re aged between 18 and 64, you’ll need to book and pass the Life in the UK Test in order to be eligible for ILR. The Life in the UK Test is a short test that tests your knowledge of British life, history and customs.
As of April 2023, it costs £2,404 to apply for ILR. The earliest you can apply for ILR is 28 days before you’re due to fully meet the residency requirements.
How can IAS help?
Our specialist immigration lawyers offer premium consultation services for those looking to invest in the UK on a Tier 1 Investor Visa. We will work around your busy schedule; our consultations can be conducted via Skype, telephone or in person. We will also advise you on your investment options and qualifying investments, ensuring you are eligible for this type of visa.
Instructing IAS to complete your Tier 1 Investor Visa application will give you the best possible chance of receiving your visa and starting your investments in the UK economy. For an in-depth discussion of your personal circumstances, call 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online. You can contact us at our offices in London, Manchester, or Birmingham, or use our office finder to find your closest branch.
Last modified on July 16th, 2023 at 8:21 pm
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The UK is one of the world’s top destinations for financial services and attracts a lot of foreign investment in this sector.
Having a varied investment portfolio may help your application. However, as long as you are investing in active trading businesses in the UK, you will be fulfilling the expectations of your Tier 1 Investor Visa.
While the property sector is a large draw for international investors, many property investments are no longer accepted by the Home Office. This includes those involved in property development, property investment and property management.
With our service, we can signpost you to an investment management company to ensure that your money is invested in a way which will support your application.
If you are refused an application, you have a right to a review within 28 days, and you can appeal the decision within 10 working days. There is no guarantee that your appeal will be successful.
Our immigration lawyers can help assess whether you are eligible for an appeal based on the grounds of your Investor Visa refusal. We can also guide you through the entire appeal process.
Once you have invested £2 million in the UK economy, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years. This is the standard residence period to be considered for ILR and will require you to extend your Investor Visa after the initial three-year period.
If you invest at least £5 million in UK businesses, you will be able to apply after three years. Investing £10 million will allow you to apply for ILR after just two years.
Once you have held ILR for at least a year you will be eligible to apply for British Citizenship.
Our immigration specialists can arrange a consultation using whatever medium suits you. We can discuss your investment options face-to-face, over the telephone or via Skype. We are highly professional and will ensure we work around your busy schedule and time-frame. We can advise you on your options and assist you through your entire UK Investor Visa application process.
Our services include:
- checking you have the satisfactory documents to make your application;
- preparing a detailed Letter of Representation about your case and its merits to be submitted with your application;
- interacting with the Home Office for the duration of your application; and
- completing each of the application documents to the highest standard.
Contact us on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online for a consultation with an expert immigration lawyer.