Tier 1 (Investor) visa

This category is for high net-worth individuals who are able to invest a minimum of 2 million Pounds in the UK.

This page contains a simplified summary only, for an advice on your individual circumstances please to book our ADVICE SESSION, either over email (especially if you are outside the UK) or at our office in the City of London, near Monument Underground station. If you already have this visa you may be interested in our COMPLIANCE SERVICE while holding an Investor visa. You are also welcome to read TESTIMONIALS page.

APPLYING OUTSIDE THE UK (ENTRY CLEARANCE):

From 6 November 2014 you need:

2 million British Pounds of your own funds (not borrowed). If the funds have been on your name for less than 3 months then you also need evidence of the source of funds, such as evidence of receiving a gift or inheritance, property or business sale (or wait until the 3 months point before applying for a visa). From 6 April 2015 also prospective applicants have to open a UK-regulated investment account before applying for a visa.

If you applied before or on 5 November 2014 (and can continue with £1 million of funds as was under the old Rules).

You needed to have either:

  • 1 million of British Pounds of your own funds (not borrowed). If the funds have been on your name for less than 3 months then you also need evidence of the source of funds, such as evidence of receiving a gift or inheritance, property or business sale (or wait until the 3 months point before applying for a visa).  

Or

  • Personal assets of a net value of at least 2 million British Pounds (less liabilities) and have 1 million Pounds loaned to you by a UK regulated financial institution.

The remaining requirements are the same for those who applied before or after 6 November 2014.

There are no English language or maintenance requirements for both the main applicants and dependants, which makes sense if you are already investing a million!

Like with all applications under the Points-Based System, the main challenge with the securing this visa is, not the money (without the money you would not be considering it at all). If any of those reading this page were already refused a visa in the past, they would know that the main challenge is to get the documents right and that includes the ‘Specified Evidence’. It means the visa officers will only accept the documents they require (and not the alternatives or what ‘the bank can provide’) and then only if each document contains all the required details. It is possible to have all the documents as required but not to have all the required details contained in a document, which can be treated as not having that document at all. This is where we help with our advice and guidance.

If successful, you would have a visa for 3 years plus 4 months.  

 

APPLYING INSIDE THE UK (SWITCHING):

First of all, you have to be eligible, which means your current visa must allow such a switch.

Examples of switching:

-       If you have a Tier 2 visa (sponsored work visa allowing to work only for the sponsor).

-       If you have a Post-Study Work visa.

-       If you have a Tier 4 (Student) visa.

You cannot switch from a Visitor visa.

If successful, you would have a visa for 3 years.  

 

WHILE YOU HOLD A VISA (WHAT TO DO DURING THE 3 INITIAL YEARS):

If your visa is issued under the Rules from 6 November 2014 (with a minimum GBP 2 million):

You now have 3 years to:

-          Within 3 months to invest the whole amount of GBP 2,000, 000 in the UK government bonds or UK-based actively trading companies. Investment in property does not count.

-          Maintain this level of investment, even if the market conditions change, for example, if the value of investments decreases because of the changes in the stock market.

 

If your visa is issued under the Rules before 6 November 2014 (with a minimum GBP 1 million):

You now have 3 years to:

-          Within 3 months to invest minimum GBP 750 000 in the UK government bonds or UK-based actively trading companies. Investment in property does not count.

-          Maintain this level of investment, even if the market conditions change, for example, if the value of investments decreases because of the changes in the stock market.

-          Maintain the minimum amount of GBP 250 000 on either a deposit bank account or invest in buying a property (on your name). This  is where you can invest in property in the UK and remain within the visa Rules, although only unmortgaged amount will be counted.

 

VISA EXTENSION:

After the initial visa for 3 years, and having met all the requirements during those years, you can apply for an extension for further 2 years. This is where you would need to supply evidence of investing the funds during the 3 months and in the specified ways, plus evidence of maintaining the remaining balance in a bank or buying a property.

 

PERMANENT RESIDENCY:

In most cases, it takes 5 years on this visa, and having met all the requirements during the 5 years.

There are accelerated routes:

-          If the amount of investment is GBP 5 000 000 (instead of 1 million) then it is possible to qualify for permanent residency after 3 years.

-          If the amount of investment is GBP 10 000 000 - after 2 years.

-          In some cases time spent in the Channel Islands (Jersey etc) can be counted too.   

 

For an individual in-depth advice we offer:

-      ADVICE SESSION which is a one-off session, either over email or at our office in the City of London (near Monument Underground station).

-      COMPLIANCE SERVICE while holding an Investor (click on the link to read in detail). For a yearly fee we guide Investors to comply with the Rules (and changes of the Rules) while they are holding a visa. With our guidance we when the time comes to extend your visa, you would be ready.

-   VISA APPLICATION SERVICE when applying for an initial Investor visa, for an extension or for permanent residency. Here we advise on what documents are needed (such as to prove the funds or investment), check the documents are in order, help with the forms and generally, guide you throughout the visa application process and represent you with the application to the Home Office.

Contact us now or read our Testimonials page.