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Tier 1 Investor Visa

Living in the UK by Investing in the Economy

Investors from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) with at least £2m to invest can enter the UK with a Tier 1 Investor Visa. You can bring your partner and children with you.

You must:

  • be 18 or over to apply for this visa
  • be able to prove that the money belongs to either you or your husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner
  • have opened an account at a UK regulated bank to use for your funds
  • have a criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for over 12 months over the last 10 years

To qualify as a Tier 1 Investor, your funds must be:

  • held in one or more regulated financial institutions
  • free to spend (‘disposable’) in the UK

Your money can be in the UK or overseas when you apply.

Tier 1 Investor Visa Eligibility

This route was tightened up in March 2019 and now there are very strict criteria in place as follows:

  • The investment in question must be in share or loan capital in actively trading UK companies.
  • Funds for investment must have been held for 2 years
  • The UK bank which opens an account for the investment must undertake due diligence checks
  • Investments in government bonds are not qualifying investments
  • Intermediary structures must be FCA regulated; the ultimate investment destination and method of transfer must be disclosed
  • Companies must be actively trading in the UK as shown by registration with Companies House and HMRC, have a business bank account showing regular trading; and have at least 2 UK-based non-director employees

‘The Home Office will check that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that:

  • The investor is not or was not in control of the money/investment decision, or they were not free to make the decision
  • International money transfers were, or will be, made unlawfully
  • The money was obtained from an unlawful act

There are advantages to the Tier 1 Investor Visa. There are no English Language tests to pass and it is possible to obtain settlement (indefinite leave to remain) sooner and be free of immigration restrictions.

  • Firstly, you can apply to settle in the UK (indefinite leave to remain) after 2 years if you invest £10m
  • You can apply to settle after 3 years if you invest £5m
  • You can apply to settle after 5 years if you invest £2m
  • Finally, you can work or study while in the UK

Working with us

It is very important to deliver the right evidence to the Home Office when applying as a Tier 1 Investor. The rules for this Visa were tightened up after the system was abused. Any evidence will be closely scrutinised and verified by the Home Office.

You will need specific proof that your investment complies with the criteria set out above. This is where we can use our knowledge and expertise - we will tell you what you need and we will ensure it is the right evidence and that it is complete.

"Very competent and knowledgeable in the field."

Malik Aldalis

If there are any matters that might risk a refusal of this application, we will advise you what to do. If we believe the application is not going to work, we will tell you. We do not take money to make futile applications.

How does the process of obtaining an Investor Visa work?

We can have an initial discussion about your plans and your financial situation. Once we have established that you are eligible to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, we will provide full advice and work with you to collect the right evidence. When the application has been prepared by us, we will submit it on your behalf along with legal representations to the Home Office to ensure the application is fully understood. Then we wait for the Home Office decision which should arrive within 8 weeks or sooner if you use the Priority Service.

We work on a fixed fee basis, not on an hourly rate.

We can also apply for extensions to Tier 1 Visas, including those that were first granted on the previous scheme prior to March 2019. If you are ready for Indefinite Leave to Remain, we can help with that too.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have £2.5m to invest and am currently in the UK as a Tier 2 Worker. Can I switch to the Tier 1 Investor Visa?

Yes, you can 'switch' to the Tier 1 Investor Visa while still in the UK as a Tier 2 Worker. However, there may be advantages to remaining as a Tier 2 worker depending on how long you have been here - it is best to seek advice first. We would recommend a chat with us first.

I am currently in the UK as a Tier 4 Student. My father is willing to give me £2m to invest in the UK so I can stay here. Would this work?

You can switch to Tier 1 Investor from Tier 4 Student while still in the UK and there will be advantages to this. However you must have held the £2m for at least two years and there are strict rules on how the money is invested. Again - speak to us before considering this route because everything depends on your circumstances.

I was granted Tier 1 Investor status in 2017. It is about to expire. What do I do?

You must apply to extend your Tier 1 Investor Visa before it expires. Take a look at our section on Tier 1 Investor Extensions.

Get in touch
Living in the UK by Investing in the Economy
If you want to know more about our Tier 1 Investor Visa service, call or email us for a free initial discussion.
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