Tier 1 Investor: An Overview
What is the Tier 1 Investor visa?
The Tier 1 Investor visa is a route designed for individuals who are able to invest a substantial amount of money into the UK economy. This visa provides a great deal of freedom to holders. The Home Office have recently become concerned about this visa category and a full review is due to be launched in Spring 2019.
How do you qualify?
To be eligible to apply for a Tier 1 Investor visa, you must demonstrate the following:
- Access to funds of at least £2 million investment into the UK. Applicants can demonstrate personal funds, or those owned jointly with or solely by their partners.
- Funds can be held overseas at the time of application, however care must be taken over any currently fluctuations. Funds must be cash ie it is not possible to rely on ownership of assets or possessions such as property. However any investments made in the UK within the 12 months before submission of an application can be included.
- Applicants must have opened a UK bank account for the purposes of investing funds and must provide evidence of having done so.
Other than the above there are no further requirements in order to obtain this visa. Applicants do not have to meet an English Language requirement and do not need to evidence any maintenance funds.
It is possible to make this application from inside the UK for those holding Tier 1 General, Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 2 or Tier 4 visas.
How long is it granted for?
Tier 1 Investor visas are initially granted for 3 years if applying inside the UK, or for 3 years and 4 months if applying from outside the UK. Applicants are able to apply for an extension for an additional 2 years, provided they are able to evidence that at least £2 million has been invested in the UK within 3 months of their 'specified date'.
The specified date is either the date that an applicant first came to the UK, or the date that the original visa was granted.
What restrictions are there?
Investment must be made into UK government bonds, or in share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. The only other restriction is that investment must not be made in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development.
Applicants are permitted to work and study in the UK on this visa, provided they are not doing so as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
It is worth taking care when planning absences from the UK, as Tier 1 Investor holders will not qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if they spend more than 180 days outside the UK in any year.
Can you include family members on this visa?
Applicants can include partners and children aged under 18 on this visa, they will be granted the same length of time as the main applicant. These family members will be able to work or establish their own businesses in the UK.
Does this visa lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?
Tier 1 Investor holders will become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years provided that they continue to satisfy the investment requirements. They will also need to satisfy the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement and ensure that UK absences are within permitted limits.
Family members will also usually be eligible for ILR after completing 5 years as a dependant.
There is an accelerated route available to Tier 1 Investor holders, whereby ILR can be granted in as little as 2 years. This accelerated route through investment total is organised as follows:
- Investment of £5 million – eligibility for indefinite leave to remain after 3 years in the UK.
- Investment of £10 million – eligibility for indefinite leave to remain after 2 years in the UK.
How can we help?
At White Rose Visas, we welcome your questions and enquiries, and are happy to offer a free thirty-minute initial consultation. There is no obligation to proceed with our services after this initial consultation.
We have assisted with many Tier 1 Investor applications in the past and look forward to hearing from you. You can find reviews from previous Tier 1 Investor clients on our Tier 1 Investor service page. To enquire, call us on 0114 303 9933, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the quick and easy web form below.