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Tier 1 Investor Visa

Tier 1 Investor Visa

International entrepreneurs who wish to invest their funds in the UK may be eligible for a Tier 1 Visa.

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Tier 1 Investor Visa Application

This Tier 1 Visa is for foreign individuals who wish to invest at least £2 million in the UK.

This permit aims to attract international investors, entrepreneurs and other people of talent who want to invest a considerable amount of funds in the United Kingdom and who meet specific requirements.

Under this visa, wealthy investors and foreign innovators can obtain permission to enter the UK and, after a specific amount of time, apply to settle in the country.

If you wish to apply for this visa, our experienced immigration lawyers in London will be happy to help you. Chat to our client care team to learn more.

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Tier 1 Investor Visa Eligibility

You can submit your application as a foreign investor if you:

  • Have at least £2,000,000 investment funds;
  • Are willing to make a substantial financial investment in the UK;
  • Are 18 or over;
  • Can demonstrate that the money belongs to either you or your partner (either your spouse or civil partner);
  • Have opened a UK bank account to use for your funds.

Funds availability requirements

To be eligible for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, you must have at least £2 million available to invest in the UK. The funds can be either in the UK or overseas at the time of your application, and must be:

  • Disposable and free to be spent in the UK;
  • Held in one regulated financial institution.

Evidence of investment funds

Using your own money

If you wish to invest your own money, you must be able to demonstrate:

  • The sum you have and where it’s being held;
  • Where the money came from;
  • That you intend to transfer your money to the UK and convert it to sterling.

Your partner’s money

Along with your application forms, you must provide:

  • A certificate of marriage or civil partnership;
  • If you are not married, you must demonstrate that you have been in a long-term relationship for at least 2 years;
  • A statement from your partner, confirming that you are allowed to control the funds. This must be accompanied by a letter from your legal adviser confirming the validity of the declaration.

Required evidence of your UK bank account

To meet your Investor permit requirements, you must present a letter from a UK regulated bank, confirming that your funds are disposable and available for your investment.

This document must:

  • Be dated within 3 months of the date of your application;
  • Have been issued by an authorised official and printed on the official paper of the bank;
  • Confirm you have opened a valid account with the bank;
  • Confirm that the bank has carried out checks for money-laundering.

Investment Visa UK required documents

When submitting your form, you will need to present:

  • Your passport, or any other valid travel identification;
  • A criminal record certificate from any country you have stated in for at least 12 months over the last 10 years;
  • A portfolio of investments (if available);
  • Bank documents or statements from a regulated bank in the UK;
  • Your tuberculosis test results (if needed).

If your documents are not in English nor Welsh, you must provide a certified translation.

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How long can I stay in the UK?

The visa for foreign investors is valid for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months. At the end of this period, you can apply to extend your permit for another 2 years.

After 5 years of lawful permanent residence in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If you have initially invested £10 million, you may be able to settle in the UK after 2 years of residence in the country.

How to extend a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa

At the end of your authorised stay, you may be able to renew your visa. If you obtained your first permit before 6th November 2014, you must:

  • Have at least £2 million available in the UK;
  • Have invested your initial funds in share capital or loan capital in any UK company;
  • Invested this sum within 3 months of your arrival in the country.

When applying to extend your stay, you will need to pay £1,623 as your application fee. There is also an additional charge of £19.20 to have your biometrics collected.

Can a Tier 1 Visa holder settle in the UK?

If you are in the UK as an international investor, you can seek permanent residence in the country. To apply, you can use the SET(O) form, available online.

Your eligibility will be based on your status as an investor, as well as your absences from the UK and other requirements which apply to all Point Based System settlement applications (such as the knowledge of Life and Language).

Once you get your ILR, you will be able to spend time in the UK until you become eligible for British citizenship.

Tier 1 investors can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years of continuous residence in the UK.

However, applicants may be eligible to submit their request after only 2 years if they have invested at least £10 million (or 3years, for an investment of at least £5 million).

Your investment will be accepted only if made within 3 months of your investor start date.

Including your dependants in your Tier 1 Form

Applicants may be allowed to bring their partners and children with them in the UK. Before they can enter the country, they must provide a criminal record certificate from any country they have lived in for at least 12 months in the last 10 years.

Your dependants must apply online and have their biometrics collected before they arrive in the UK.

It must be noted that children over the age of 18 cannot apply if they are outside the UK. If they wish to join you in the UK, they can apply for a Family Visa.

Can the Home Office refuse my application?

The Home Office can reject your application at any time if it believes that:

  • You are not in control or free to invest the money specified in your form;
  • Your funds have been acquired through conduct which is unlawful in the UK;
  • You have not received an approval letter from a UK financial institution;
  • You are trying to transfer your capital to the UK by means which are illegal in any of the countries involved;
  • Your overseas criminal record certificates are missing or reporting incorrect information.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants must pay £1,623 to the Home Office.

The same fee applies to investors who wish to extend or switch their existing permit, or if you are applying to bring a family member in the UK with you. You will also need to pay the healthcare surcharge.

As a foreign investor, you are not allowed to:

  • Work as a professional sportsperson;
  • Get public funds;
  • Work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you hold a primary degree in medicine or dentistry from a UK institution.

As a Tier 1 investor, you are permitted to study, provided that you obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.

You can submit your application form within the UK if you meet the eligibility requirements and are already in the country under one of these categories:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 2 (any tier)
  • Tier 4 (General student)

If you are residing in the UK but under a different visa, you will need to leave the country at the end of your authorised stay and submit your forms from abroad.

If you are already in the UK as an international Tier 4 international student with financial sponsorship, you may be able to change your status into a Tier 1 permit.

To be eligible, you must hold an unconditional agreement in writing from your financial sponsor, stating that you can re-enter or stay in the UK and that your course fees are paid by either the government or an international scholarship agency.

Your investor start date is written on your visa, and it refers either to:

  • The date you entered the UK;
  • The date your application was approved, in case you cannot prove your original date of entry.

To be eligible to stay in the UK or to extend your visa, you must invest your funds within 3 months from this date.

If you first entered the UK before 6th November 2014, you can apply to renew your status if you:

  • Have at least £1 million of disposable funds;
  • Have invested at least 75% (or £750,000) of your capital in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in British companies;
  • Have invested the sum within 3 months of your investor start date.

Your available capital can be either your own money or your partner’s. You can also use money that has been loaned to you by a UK bank, as long as you can prove you have personal assets with a value of at least £2 million. However, you cannot mix the two different sources of funds.

If your money has not been held in your bank account for at least 2 years, the UKVI will ask you to provide detailed evidence of the source of your funds. This will be necessary whether your money is held in the UK or overseas.

The following sources are accepted:

  • Gifts, if you hold any official documents or letter from a legal adviser confirming that the money transfer is irrevocable and the relationship between you and the person giving you the funds;
  • Sale, provided that you can show a detailed deed of sale of the assets;
  • Business, if you provide your business financial accounts;
  • Will, if you hold a notarised copy of the will;
  • Divorced settlement, if you have evidence of a notarised copy of the terms of divorce;
  • Financial award or winning;
  • Other sources not listed above, but supported by independent and valid evidence.

All the evidence of the source of funds listed above must be accompanied by a letter from a legal adviser, confirming that they are available and can be transferred to a UK regulated institution.