The Tier 1 Investor scheme was introduced to enable affluent individuals interested in UK-based investment opportunities to enter and remain in the United Kingdom. Along with being one of the most popular entry routes for wealthy individuals, the Tier 1 Investor visa also represents one of the simplest schemes available, as far as requirements and qualification criteria are concerned.
Tier 1 Investor visa holders also have the opportunity to apply for indefinite leave to remain after a specified period of time, in accordance with the amount of money they invest:
Prior to November 2014, it was possible to qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa by investing a minimum of £1 million, under the condition that further “top-up” investments were added if the total amount fell below this £1 million during the five-year period. The minimum investment has since been increased to £2 million.
For your initial application to be successful, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have a minimum of £2 million at your disposal, held by a regulated financial institution in the United Kingdom. Please note that the money doesn’t necessarily have to be your own – funds sourced from third-party contributors including family members and other third parties are also eligible.
These funds must be held in an appropriate bank account for a minimum of three months prior to the date of the application. Otherwise, the applicant is required to provide evidence of where the funds were sourced from and when, providing formal documentation such as the following:
As of September 2015, it’s also been necessary to provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country the applicant has resided in the 12 or more continuous months, during the 10 years prior to the date of their application. The same also applies to any adult dependants included in the application.
As with all entrepreneur visa programs, the main applicant must be at least 18 years old at the time they submit their application.
Important Considerations Before Applying
Please note that Entry Clearance Officers and immigration caseworkers in general have the authority to reject applications should they suspect that:
Requirements Upon Obtaining a Tier 1 Investor Visa
If your application is successful, you will be expected to fulfil a series of important requirements within a specific time period:
As of November 2014, the rules governing extension applications for Tier 1 Investors specify the following:
As with various business immigration categories, the Tier 1 Investor schemes require that the applicants earn a minimum of 75 points to qualify – in accordance with Appendix A of the Immigration Rules.
One important note: points are not awarded in instances where the funds are invested in businesses involved in property management or property development ventures.
If the investor satisfies all Home Office requirements and abides by the term of their initial visa, they will be able to apply for an initial two years of leave. This will subsequently take the applicant all the way to the five-year threshold, after which they can apply for indefinite leave to remain.
For applicants investing £10 million, indefinite leave to remain can be applied for after just two years. Likewise, an investment in the UK totalling £5 million can fast-track IDL-application eligibility to three years.
Tier 1 Investor Visa Requirements Before November 2014
As stated, some of the requirements governing Tier 1 Investor visa eligibility were overhauled in November 2014. Prior to this date, the following rules applied:
In addition, the investments referred to above must have been made:
In all instances, the applicant must provide comprehensive evidence of the level of investment made and its subsequent maintenance throughout their period of leave in the United Kingdom. Exemptions may apply where the applicant’s last grant was as an Investor (under the Rules in force prior to June 30, 2008).
Under the points-based Tier 1 Investor immigration system, applicants must earn a minimum of 75 points to qualify. If all requirements are satisfied and terms adhered to for the duration of their stay, the applicant may qualify for an extension of two years, after which they may choose to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
In the case of investments totalling £10 million or £5 million, there is no need to apply for an extension – indefinite leave to remain can be applied for after a period of two years or three years respectively.
The Benefits of a Tier 1 Investor Visa
Some of the biggest points of appeal that make the Tier 1 Investor such an attractive option include the following:
In addition, the Tier 1 Investor scheme is the fastest and easiest way for wealthy foreigners to obtain a UK passport.
Tier 1 Investor Visa Lawyers in Luton
Securing expert legal support at the earliest possible stage can ensure every step of the application process is streamlined and simplified. Here at Aristone Solicitors, we can help determine your eligibility and ensure your application is backed by strong supporting evidence. Whether planning ahead or dealing with an in-progress Tier 1 Investor visa application, we’re standing by to offer our full support. Contact a member of our business immigration team today to book your obligation-free consultation.
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