Personal Immigration

UK INVESTOR VISA

UK INVESTOR VISA

The UK Investor visa category is for non-EEA nationals who are able to make a substantial financial investment in the UK.  In order to qualify for a UK Investor visa you will need to have access to at least £2 million and be willing to invest your funds in actively trading UK companies.

What is a UK Investor visa?

The UK Investor visa category is for high net worth individuals who are willing and able to make a substantial financial investment in the UK.  Investor visa holders are permitted to work, study and engage in business activities.  They can also be accompanied or joined by their dependants.  The UK Investor visa typically leads to settlement in the UK after a period of 5 years.  Accelerated settlement is available to UK Investor visa holders who invest more in the UK.

What are the main UK Investor visa requirements?

In order to qualify for a UK Investor visa, you will need to satisfy the following UK Investor visa requirements:

  • 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 a bank 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 2 years 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 your funds.

If applying for a UK Investor visa from overseas, you and any adult dependants 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.

As a UK Investor visa applicant, you will not need to satisfy any English language or maintenance funds requirement.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

To discuss your UK Investor visa application with one of our investment immigration barristers, contact our UK Tier 1 Investor visa lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

Do UK Investor visa applicants need to hold their investment funds for 2 years?

The UK Investor visa immigration rules do not require investment funds to have been held for 2 years.

If you have held your investment funds for less than 2 years then you can still qualify for a UK Investor visa if the source of the funds was:

  • a gift received by yourself (and/or your husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner) in the 2 years prior to the date of application; or
  • the proceeds of sale of assets such as business or property within the 2 years before the date of application; or
  • money held in your business (and/or the business of your husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner); or
  • inheritance under a will received within the 2 years before making the application; or
  • the proceeds of a divorce settlement received within the 2 years immediately before the date of application; or
  • a financial award or winnings; or
  • any other source provided that the source can be documented and independently corroborated.

If you have held your UK Investor visa investment funds for at least 2 years then you will not be required to provide specified evidence of the source of your funds.  In particular, there is currently no requirement to provide an independent audit of financial and business interests as part of a Tier 1 Investor visa application.  However, you will still need to satisfy the Home Office that your investment funds were lawfully obtained.

How long is a UK Investor visa valid for?

Your initial UK 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 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 as a UK Investor visa holder for a further 2 years, before qualifying for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after 5 years. There is also an accelerated route to settlement as a UK Investor visa migrant 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 as a UK Investor, you will need to spend not more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period and, unless aged 65 or over, have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.

What are the UK Investor visa investment options?

Once you have entered the UK Investor visa category, you will need to invest at least £2 million in qualifying investments.  The only qualifying UK Investor visa investment options are share capital and/or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.   You will need to make a qualifying investment within 90 days of entering the UK Investor visa category.

The Immigration Rules for UK Investor visa applicants contain various restrictions on permitted investments.  For example, investments in offshore companies or trusts, open-ended investment companies and companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development are all prohibited.

How long will my UK Investor visa application take to be decided?

Most visa application centres outside the UK offer a priority service which allows UK Investor visa applicants to receive a decision on their applications for entry clearance within 5 working days.

UK Investor visa holders applying for further leave to remain from within the UK can apply for either a standard 8 week consideration or a priority 5 working day consideration.  UK Investor visa holders applying for indefinite leave to remain from within the UK can apply for either a standard 6 month consideration or a priority 10 working day consideration.

How can I extend my UK Investor visa?

The requirements that you will need to satisfy in order to qualify for a UK Investor visa extension will depend upon whether your initial UK Investor visa was granted before 6 November 2014, between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019 or on or after 29 March 2019.  You can find further information on our UK Investor Visa Extension page.  Advice from an immigration lawyer will ensure that your extension application satisfies the strict requirements of the Immigration Rules.

How can I settle in the UK as a UK Investor visa holder?

You may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a UK Investor visa holder after spending 2, 3 or 5 years in the UK. The requirements that you will need to satisfy in order to qualify for ILR as a UK Investor visa holder will depend upon when your initial UK Investor visa was granted and the amount of your investment.  You can find further information on our UK Investor Visa ILR page or contact our specialist immigration lawyers for expert advice.

Has the UK Investor visa scheme been suspended, halted or closed?

The UK Investor visa scheme has not been suspended, halted or closed.  The UK Investor visa category is open to new applicants with access to at least £2 million looking for a route to settlement in the UK.

How our immigration barristers can help UK Investor visa applicants

The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the documents that must be provided in support of a UK Investor visa application.  It can be helpful to get advice from an immigration lawyer in order to ensure that your application is professionally presented and technically correct.

Richmond Chambers is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading immigration practices for UK Investor visa applicants.  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 and immigration lawyers work 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 Immigration 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 UK Tier 1 Investor visa application, our immigration barristers 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 UK Investor visa holders

    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 some of the UK’s leading FCA-registered wealth managers who can ensure that your investment portfolio is both compliant and structured for steady growth.

  • Applications for extension of stay as a UK Investor visa holder

    Before your initial Tier 1 Investor visa expires, you may be eligible to apply to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Investor.  The requirements that you will need to satisfy in order to qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa extension will depend upon whether your initial Tier 1 Investor visa was granted before 6 November 2014, between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019 or on or after 29 March 2019.

    Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension: Initial Tier 1 Investor visa granted before 6 November 2014

    If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa before 6 November 2014 and wish to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Investor, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You have money of your own, under your own control, in the UK amounting to not less than £1 million;
    • You have invested not less than £750,000 of your capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies other than those principally engaged in property investment; and have invested the remaining balance of £1 million in the UK by the purchase of assets or by maintaining the money on deposit in a UK regulated financial institution;
    • You made the investment either (i) within 3 months of your entry into the UK, if you were granted entry clearance as a Tier 1 Investor and there is evidence to establish your date of arrival in the UK; (ii) within 3 months of the date of the grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor; or (iii) no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which led to your first grant of leave as a Tier 1 Investor;
    • You have maintained the level of investment for the whole of the remaining period of your leave.

    You will need to submit your Tier 1 Investor visa extension application before 6 April 2020.

    Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension: Initial Tier 1 Investor visa granted between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019

    If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019, you will be able to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Investor if:

    • You invested not less than £2 million in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;
    • You made your investment either (i) within 3 months of your entry to the UK, if you were granted entry clearance as a Tier 1 Investor and there is evidence to establish your date of entry to the UK (unless there are exceptionally compelling reasons for the delay in investing); or (ii) within 3 months of the date of the grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor (unless there are exceptionally compelling reasons for the delay in investing); or (iii) no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which led to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant;
    • You have maintained the level of investment for the whole of the remaining period of your leave.

    You will need to submit your Tier 1 Investor visa extension application before 6 April 2023.

    Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension: Initial Tier 1 Investor visa granted on or after 29 March 2019

    If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa on or after 29 March 2019, you will need to satisfy the following requirements in order to qualify for an extension of stay:

    • You must have invested not less than £2 million in the UK by way of UK share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;
    • You must have made your investment either (i) within 3 months of your entry to the UK, if you were granted entry clearance as a Tier 1 Investor and there is evidence to establish your date of entry to the UK (unless there are exceptionally compelling reasons for the delay in investing); or (ii) within 3 months of the date of the grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor (unless there are exceptionally compelling reasons for the delay in investing); or (iii) no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which led to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 Investor;
    • You have maintained the level of investment for the whole of the remaining period of your leave.
  • Applications for settlement (including accelerated settlement) as a UK Investor visa holder

    You may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor after spending 2, 3 or 5 years in the UK.  The requirements that you will need to satisfy in order to qualify for Tier 1 Investor visa ILR will depend upon when your initial Tier 1 Investor visa was granted and the amount of your investment.

    Tier 1 Investor visa ILR: Initial Tier 1 Investor visa granted before 6 November 2014

    If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa before 6 November 2014 and wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You have money of your own, under your own control, in the UK amounting to not less than £1 million;
    • You have invested not less than 75% of your capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies; and have invested the remaining balance by the purchase of assets or by maintaining the money on deposit in a UK regulated financial institution;
    • The investment was made no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which led to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 Investor Migrant;
    • You have maintained the level of investment for the whole of the remaining period of your leave;
    • You have spent a continuous period of either 2 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £10 million), 3 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £5 million) or 5 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £1 million) lawfully in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor, with absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 months during the period;
    • Unless you are aged 65 or over, you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.

    You will need to submit your Tier 1 Investor ILR application before 6 April 2022.

    Tier 1 Investor visa ILR: Initial Tier 1 Investor visa granted between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019

    If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019, you will be able to apply for Tier 1 Investor ILR if:

    • You have money of your own, under your own control, in the UK amounting to not less than £2 million;
    • You have invested your capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;
    • The investment was made no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which led to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 Investor Migrant;
    • You have maintained the level of investment for the whole of the remaining period of your leave;
    • You have spent a continuous period of either 2 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £10 million), 3 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £5 million) or 5 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £2 million) lawfully in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor, with absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 months during the period;
    • Unless you are aged 65 or over, you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.

    You will need to submit your Tier 1 Investor visa ILR application before 6 April 2025.

    Tier 1 Investor visa ILR: Initial Tier 1 Investor visa granted on or after 29 March 2019

    If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa on or after 29 March 2019, you will need to satisfy the following requirements in order to qualify for Tier 1 Investor ILR:

    • You have money of your own, under your own control, in the UK amounting to not less than £2 million;
    • You have invested your capital in the UK by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;
    • The investment was made no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which led to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 Investor Migrant;
    • You have maintained the level of investment for the whole of the remaining period of your leave;
    • You have spent a continuous period of either 2 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £10 million), 3 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £5 million) or 5 years (if you have maintained an investment of at least £2 million) lawfully in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor, with absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 months during the period;
    • Unless you are aged 65 or over, you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.
  • Fresh applications, Administrative reviews and Judicial reviews for UK Investor visa holders

    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.

WHAT CAN WE HELP YOU WITH?

To discuss your UK Investor visa application with one of our investment immigration barristers, contact our UK Tier 1 Investor visa lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

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