TIER 1 INVESTOR VISA - £2 MILLION ROUTE
Contrary to recent reports in the UK media, the Tier 1 Investor visa category is not currently suspended. If you are considering making a Tier 1 Investor visa application, call our investment migration team on 0203 617 9173 for further advice.
The Tier 1 Investor visa category is for non-EEA nationals who are able to make a substantial investment in the UK. If you do not already hold a Tier 1 Investor visa granted before 6 November 2014, you will need to have access to £2 million and be willing to invest your funds in UK government bonds or actively trading UK companies.
What are the main eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 Investor visa?
In order to qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You have funds amounting to at least £2 million belonging to yourself, your partner or the two of you jointly;
- The money is held in a regulated financial institution;
- The money is freely transferable to the UK and able to be converted to pounds sterling;
- You have opened an account with a UK regulated bank for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million in the UK.
If you have held your investment funds for less than 90 days then you will need to prove the source of your funds and, in every case, the Home Office will need to be satisfied as to the provenance of the funds.
If applying from overseas, you and any adult dependents will need to provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country that you have lived in for at least 12 months in the last 10 years.
What else do I need to know about the Tier 1 Investor visa?
As a Tier 1 Investor visa applicant, you will not need to satisfy any English language or maintenance funds requirement.
Your initial Tier 1 Investor visa will be valid for either 3 years and 4 months (if applying from overseas) or 3 years (if applying from within the UK).
You will need to invest at least £2 million in UK government bonds or actively trading UK companies within 3 months of entering the category. You will then need to maintain your investment.
You will be able to extend your stay for a further 2 years, before qualifying for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after 5 years. There is also an accelerated route to settlement after either 3 years if you invest at least £5 million or 2 years if you invest at least £10 million.
In order to settle in the UK, you will need to spend not more than 180 days outside the UK in each rolling 12-month period of your leave and, unless aged 65 or over, have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK. For settlement applications made from 11 January 2018, the Home Office will consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes time before this date and you believe that this change would cause you exceptionally harsh consequences, you must set out the reasons.
Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany or join you as the Family Members of a PBS migrant..
How our immigration barristers can help
Richmond Chambers is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading immigration practices for investors. Our immigration barristers were awarded ‘Business Immigration Chambers of the Year in England’ at the 2018 Corporate Intl Magazine Global Awards, ‘UK Business Immigration Barrister of the Year’ at the ACQ5 Law Awards 2018 and ‘Business Immigration Set of the Year’ at the Global Law Experts Awards 2017. The work of our immigration barristers on behalf of investors has also been recognised through membership of the Investment Migration Council and the Department of International Trade’s Investor Support Network.
Our investment immigration barristers works closely with investors, wealth managers and leading banks to prepare and submit high quality visa applications for investors and their families. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for investors and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to investors as part of a professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Opening a UK bank account and obtaining a bank letter
If you need to open a UK bank account and/or obtain a letter from a UK bank in support of your Tier 1 Investor visa application, we can direct you to the right professionals. We work closely with some of the UK’s leading investment managers and private bankers. Our strategic partners within the financial services sector have extensive experience helping clients navigate the challenges of the UK investor visa.
Investment management for Tier 1 Investors
Whilst we are able to draw on our intimate knowledge of the Home Office rules and policy to provide you with expert legal advice in relation to your Tier 1 Investor visa application, we can also direct you to FCA-registered wealth managers who can ensure that your investment portfolio is both compliant and structured for steady growth.
VIP 24-Hour Service appointments for Tier 1 Investors
If you already have leave to remain in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor and are applying to extend your stay or to settle in the UK, you may be able to submit your application and receive a decision within 24 hours, using UK Visa and Immigration’s VIP Service.
We can assist you to book a VIP Service appointment, prepare your application for submission to the Home Office, provide facilities for the enrolment of your biometric information at our offices and liaise with the Home Office to ensure that your application is processed within 24 hours.
Applications for extension of stay as a Tier 1 Investor
In order to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Investor, you will need to show that:
- You invested not less than £2 million of your capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies within 3 months of your grant of leave or entry to the UK;
- You have maintained at least £2 million of your own funds, under your own control, in a permitted investment in the UK.
Different requirements apply to Tier 1 Investor visa holders who applied to enter the category under the Immigration Rules in force prior to 6 November 2014.
Applications for settlement (including accelerated routes) as a Tier 1 Investor
In order to settle in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor after 5 years, you will need to show that:
- You have invested not less than £2 million of your capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;
- You have maintained at least £2 million of your own funds, under your own control, in the UK;
You may qualify for accelerated settlement after 3 years if you have maintained an investment of £5 million or after 2 years if you have maintained an investment of £10 million.
In addition, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.
You can spend up to 180 days (six months) outside the UK each year and still qualify for indefinite leave to remain.
For settlement applications made from 11 January 2018, the Home Office will consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes time before this date and you believe that this change would cause you exceptionally harsh consequences, you must set out the reasons.
Different requirements apply to Tier 1 Investors who applied to enter the category under the Immigration Rules in force prior to 6 November 2014.
Fresh applications, Administrative reviews and Judicial reviews for Tier 1 Investors
If your application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Tier 1 Investor has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.