Personal Immigration

Tier 1 Investor Visa - 2 Year Requirement

It was widely reported that from 29 March 2019, new Tier 1 Investor visa applicants would need to have held their investment funds for at least 2 years prior to the date of application.  But is the Investor visa 2 year requirement really a requirement?

The previous 90-day requirement for a Tier 1 Investor visa application

Prior to 29 March 2019, paragraph 64 of Appendix A to the Immigration Rules stated as follows:

64. In the case of an application where Table 7 applies, points will only be awarded if the applicant:

(a) has had the money referred to in Table 7 for a consecutive 90-day period of time, ending no earlier than one calendar month before the date of application, and provides the specified documents in paragraph 64-SD; or

(b) provides the additional specified documents in paragraph 64A-SD of the source of the money.

Because sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 64 of Appendix A were expressed in the alternative, Tier 1 Investor visa applicants were required to either hold their investment funds for at least 90 days prior to the date of application, or, if they had held their funds for less then 90 days, provide one or more mandatory items of specified evidence to prove the source of their funds.  In other words, under the previous Immigration Rules, there was no requirement to have held investment funds for a full 90 days.

The new Investor visa 2 year requirement

Under the Immigration Rules in force since 29 March 2019, paragraph 64 of Appendix A now reads as follows:

64. In the case of an application where Table 7 applies, points will only be awarded if the applicant:

(a) has had the money referred to in Table 7 for a consecutive 2-year period of time, ending no earlier than one calendar month before the date of application, and provides the specified documents in paragraph 64-SD; or

(b) provides the additional specified documents in paragraph 64A-SD of the source of the money.

It can be seen from the foregoing that the two alternatives in paragraph 64 (a) and (b) survived the introduction of the new investor visa 2 year requirement on 29 March 2019.  Therefore, it is not strictly correct to state that Tier 1 Investor visa applicants are required to have held their investment funds for 2 years.  In fact, it is still be possible to apply for a Tier 1 Investor visa where the investment funds have been held for less than 2 years prior to the date of application provided that mandatory evidence of source of funds as set out in paragraph 64A-SD is provided as part of the application.

Source of funds where the 2 year Investor visa requirement is not met

Paragraph 64A-SD of Appendix A sets out the specified evidence requirements where the investor visa 2 year requirement is not met.  It states that 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 is:

  • a gift received by yourself (and/or your husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner) in the 3 months prior to the date of application; or
  • the proceeds of sale of assets such as business or property within the 3 three months 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 3 months before making the application; or
  • the proceeds of a divorce settlement received within the 3 months 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.

That it is still possible to apply for a UK Tier 1 Investor visa in circumstances where investment funds have been lawfully received within the last 2 years, perhaps by way of a gift, inheritance or sale of an asset, will be welcome news to those who may have thought that they would no longer qualify.

Contact our Investment Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance in relation to the investor visa 2 year requirement or an application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Tier 1 Investor, contact our investment immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

SEE HOW OUR IMMIGRATION BARRISTERS CAN HELP YOU

To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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