Tier 1 Investor visa
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:
- £10 million allows you to apply for settlement in 2 years;
- £5 million allows you to apply for settlement in 3 years;
- £2 million allows you to apply for settlement in 5 years.
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:
last will and testament
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
Considerations Before Applying
Please note that Entry Clearance Officers and
immigration caseworkers in general have the authority to reject applications
should they suspect that:
investment funds are not under the direct control of the applicant;
funds were sourced by unlawful means or through channels considered unethical
or unsuitable by the Home Office;
individual applying for the visa has demonstrated conduct or has associations
that deem their entry to the UK against the good of the public.
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
investment totalling a minimum of £2 million must be made in qualified
investments (share or loan capital in active and trading UK companies, or UK
- Tier 1 Investor applicants are permitted to sell parts of their
current UK portfolio in order to purchase new qualifying investments,
should they wish to do so. However, the total investment amount must
remain at or above the £2 million threshold at all times.
- Exemptions apply for individuals who applied for Tier 1 Investor
visas prior to November 2014. Please contact a member of our business
immigration team to discuss the specifics of your case in more detail.
As of November 2014, the rules governing extension
applications for Tier 1 Investors specify the following:
applicant must provide evidence of investments totalling a minimum of £2
million in the UK, in the form of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan
capital in active and trading UK registered companies;
must also be submitted to show that this minimum investment requirement was
satisfied no later than three months following the applicant’s entry to the UK.
documentation showing that the minimum £2 million threshold has been upheld
throughout the applicant’s period of leave must also be provided.
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.
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:
investor must provide evidence of a minimum of £1 million under their direct
control at the time of their application; or
applicant must provide evidence of personal assets with a total combined value
in excess of £2 million and have access to funds totalling no less than £1
million, provided by way of a loan from a recognised and regulated UK lender; and
applicant must provide evidence of an investment worth no less than £750,000 in
the UK 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; and
remaining balance of the £1 million minimum must be used for purchasing assets
or maintained on deposit in a UK regulated financial institution.
In addition, the investments referred to above must
have been made:
later than three months following the applicant’s entry to the United Kingdom,
if they entered the UK as a Tier 1 Investor and there is exact evidence of
their date of arrival; or
later than three months after being granted entry to the United Kingdom, if
they entered the UK on a Tier 1 Investor visa and there is no evidence of their
exact entry date; or
the investment was made prior to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1
(Investor), no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which
led to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 Investor.
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
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:
English language requirements to satisfy whatsoever
evidence needed of maintenance or savings
applicant can bring dependants with them to the UK
study and work restrictions apply
applicants are permitted to spend up to 180 days outside the UK during each
In addition, the Tier 1 Investor scheme is the
fastest and easiest way for wealthy foreigners to obtain a UK passport.
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
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