Tier 1 Investor Visa

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TIER 1 INVESTOR VISA

The Tier 1 (Investor) route is for high net worth individuals willing to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. If you are granted a UK Investor Visa, you will have the right to work, study and carry out business activities. Your dependent family members will also be per mitted to accompany or join you in the UK. Tier 1 Investor Visa holders can apply for settlement in the UK after 5 years of residence in the UK. An accelerated settlement route is available for Investment Visa holders who invest more money in the UK.

Tier 1 Investor Visa requirements

To qualify for a UK Investor Visa you will need to demonstrate to the UK Visas and Immigration that you satisfy the following requirements:

  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You have funds of at least £2 million available for investment in the UK;
  • The funds to be invested must be your own and under your control, your partner’s funds or funds belonging to you and your partner;
  • The funds are held in a regulated financial institution;
  • The funds to be invested are freely transferrable to the UK and can be converted to pound sterling;
  • You have opened an account with a UK regulated bank for the purposes of investing at least £2 million in the UK;

If the funds you wish to invest in the UK has been under your control for less than two years you need to prove the source of your funds to the UK Visas and Immigration. In any event, the UK Visas and Immigration must be satisfied that the funds you wish to invest in the UK has been under your control and you are at liberty to freely invest it as specified in your application.

The investment funds must not have been transferred to the UK via instruments which are unlawful in any of the countries involved, including the source country, any transit countries and the UK.

If you are applying for a UK Investor Visa from outside the UK, you will need to provide an overseas criminal record certificate from any country that you have lived in for at least 12 months in the 10 years before the date of your application.

As a UK Investor visa applicant, you are not required to demonstrate English speaking ability. You are also not required to show proof of maintenance as the funds you’re investing in the UK will be considered sufficient to cover your maintenance in the UK.

The specific criteria you need to meet in order to qualify for a Tier 1 Investor Visa will differ depending on your personal circumstances.

If you wish to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, speak to one of our specialised immigration lawyers for expert advice by completing our “Enquiry Form”.

UK Investor visa: 2 year requirement

The Tier 1 Investor visa category does not require investment funds to have been held in your account for 2 years.

If, however, you have not held the investment funds for at least 2 years, you will need to satisfy the UK Visas and Immigration that the source of the funds was:

  • A gift by a third party to yourself (and/or your partner) in the 2 years before the application for an Investor Visa; or
  • Proceeds of sale of property, business or other assets in the two years before the date of application for an Investor Visa; or
  • Money held in a business belonging to yourself or your partner; or
  • Money from inheritance under a will received in the two years before the date of your application for a UK Investor Visa; or
  • Money received from a divorce settlement in the two years before the date of application;
  • A financial award or winning;
  • Any other lawful source that can be verified and corroborated with evidence.

One major benefit of holding the investment funds under your control for at least two years is that you would not be required to provide evidence of the source of funds in support of your application. You will still, however, need to satisfy the UK Visas and Immigration that you have lawfully obtained your investment funds.

Investment options

Under the Tier 1 Investment Visa route, you are required to invest at least £2 million in the UK in one of the qualifying investment options set out in Appendix A. The available qualifying options for investment in the UK are share capital and/or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. You will be required to invest your funds within 90 days of entering the UK as a Tier 1 Investor Visa holder.

The Tier 1 Investors Visa route contains a number of restrictions on the types of investments you can engage in.  By way of example, investments in companies that are based off-shore, open-ended investment companies and property investment companies, property management or property development are all prohibited under the immigration rules.

Tier 1 Investor Visa validity period

Tier 1 Investor Visas are valid for an initial period of 3 years (if you apply from within the UK) and 3 years and months (if you apply from outside the UK. Tier 1 Investor Visa category requires that the investment funds relied on in your application must be invested within 3 months of your entry into the UK and for the investment to be maintained throughout your residence as an Investor Visa holder.

You will able to apply for extension of your Tier 1 Investor Visa prior to the expiry of the initial leave to enter/remain and you will be granted a further two years of leave.

ILR as an Investment Visa Migrant

On completion of 5 years of residence in the UK as an Investment Visa holder, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

The Tier 1 Investor Visa category also offers an accelerated route to settlement after 3 years if you invest at least £5 million in the UK or 2 years if you invest at least £10 million in the UK. To qualify for settlement in the UK as an Investment Visa Migrant, you will need to demonstrate that you have not spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months period since the grant of your initial Invest Visa unless you are aged over 65. You will also need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and must have passed the Life in the UK Test.

How our lawyers can help you with your UK Tier 1 Investor Visa Application

Our lawyers are specialists in UK immigration law with almost a decade of experience. We have assisted hundreds of UK Tier 1 Investor Visa applicants to prepare and submit successful UK Tier 1 Investor Visa applications.

Our immigration lawyers can provide you expert advice on meeting the requirements of the Immigration Rules, carry out a detailed assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a Tier 1 Investor Visa and can assist you with the preparation and submission of your application.

Our lawyers combine creative energy with deep technical legal expertise to uncover innovative, out-of-the-box and unconventional strategies that help you succeed in your application even when you’re facing inherent challenges in meeting the requirements of a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa.

We do this by deploying the following:

  • Taking a holistic approach to analysing every facet of each case and formulating strategies to comprehensively address every element of the case;
  • Bringing deep technical and substantive legal expertise;
  • Collaborative strategizing among specialist lawyers, who operate at different levels of seniority, bringing a wealth of technical expertise, tactical know-how and diversity of perspective on your matter;
  • Using Design Thinking to reframe the challenges you face with a view to redefining value and opening up the scope of solutions;
  • Designing customised strategy to meet your specific challenges.

What this means for you?

If you instruct us to take on your case, our scope of work will comprise of the following:

  • Taking detailed instructions to carry out a thorough analysis of your case;
  • Assessing your eligibility for a Tier 1 Investor Visa in line with the requirements as set out in the Immigration Rules, the accompanying Policy Documents and the wider case-law jurisprudence;
  • Notifying you of the strengths and weaknesses of your case;
  • Advising you on strategies, where possible, to remedy the weaknesses in your case and better evidence the strengths of your case;
  • Providing you detailed and customised advice on the documents you need to provide in support of your application;
  • Reviewing your documents to assess whether they meet the evidential requirements of your application and to advise you if further documents are required;
  • Drafting the application form to provide to you for review and, if required, amending the application in line with your observations;
  • Preparing a detailed letter of representations to be submitted in support of your application;
  • Submitting the application form online and arranging an appointment for the enrolment of your biometrics;
  • Responding to any queries from the Home Office regarding your application
  • Addressing any queries that you may have regarding your application and any issues arising relating to your immigration status;
  • Corresponding with the UK Visas and Immigration (Home Office) to ensure a timely decision on your application.
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