The UK has always been associated with wealth and prosperity. London is a major attraction to many investors, owing to its being a global hub for commerce. Furthermore, the UK also has an increasing number of regional commercial centres that offer equally attractive options to those capable of identifying business opportunities. These cities host growing populations, a significant proportion of whom are young, able and have been educated to the highest standards at some of the leading universities in the world. Moreover, the UK tax regime is among the most competitive in the world, affording significant advantages to non-EU investors. Furthermore, the UK offers a base from which to gain access to continental Europe, allowing for the opportunity to develop a UK venture across European borders.
UK Tier 1 Investor Visas
The investor visa category is specifically designed to enable wealthy investors to make a substantial financial investment. To qualify for permission to enter the UK as a Tier 1 investor the applicant must invest a minimum of £2 million in the UK.
The Tier 1 investor visa has the shortest investor immigration application processing time compared to the other G8 countries. Other than the financial requirement, the eligibility criteria is as follows:
- The Applicant must show that they have money of their own under their own control in a UK regulated bank amounting to no less than £2 million.
- The Applicant must invest the funds for 5 years in the United Kingdom 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). Investment in offshore companies will not qualify.
Under the Tier 1 investor visa, the applicant is not required to show the ability to speak English, although some nationals are required to provide a Tuberculosis certificate at the time of the application before visas can be issued.
The applicant can qualify for Residency after 5 years or earlier depending on the amount of invested. Please find out more about Residency under Tier 1 below.
As an investor, the applicant can be gainfully employed under Tier 1 or study in the UK. The Tier 1 investor will be issued with a visa for a period 40 months initially and must invest the 2 million within three months of entering the UK. Before the expiry of the 40-month visa, the Tier 1 investor must make an application to the Home Office for an extension of their stay in the UK.
If the extension requirements are all met, The Home Office will allow a two-year extension of stay to the Tier 1 investor and the applicant’s whole family. The investment must be maintained at excess of GBP 2 million and the general conditions of the visas met before the extension is granted.
Residency Under Tier 1 Investor Visa
On April 6, 2011, the Government announced new rules which enable Tier 1 investors to be granted permanent residency/Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK through an accelerated route. The eligibility for a fast track route to permanent residence is by increased investment. An investment of GBP 10 million or more will provide for permanent residence after two years, and an investment of GBP 5 million or more will provide for permanent residence after three years, instead of the usual five years. This accelerated route to permanent residence only applies to the principal applicant through higher level of investment; the investor’s dependents will be eligible for permanent residence after living in the United Kingdom for 5 years.
Contact our Tier 1 Investor Visa Lawyers Mayfair, London
If you would like to know more about Tier 1 investor visas, contact the solicitors at Ash Norton. Our highly experienced team are regularly sought out to advise and assist investors and entrepreneurs to navigate UK immigration law competently and efficiently. We take pride in offering a service that offers a bespoke solution to your needs, working with some of the leading practitioners in the field. Take advantage of the legal services at Ash Norton, which have been designed to ensure the delivery of high quality legal advice. Call us on +44 (0)20 7629 3633 or click here to get in touch.