The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment in the UK.
UK tier 1 investor visa program is the most popular investment migration program to the United Kingdom for HNW families. The investment minimum for UK tier1 visas is set at £2,000,000 based on PBS -points based system. The investor scheme offers a fast track option of settlement in the United Kingdom and later path to citizenship meeting all the requirements. The entry clearance decision issued within 3 weeks.
The UK Government launched the high value investor visa scheme on 1 October 1994. Up to 2004, investor applicants were required to hold at least £1 million in the UK and to invest £750,000 in UK Government bonds, stocks or corporate bonds. In addition, the applicant had to make the UK their main home. In 2008, the Government introduced the Points Based System.As from 6 Nov 2014, UK announced increase in tier 1 investor visa from £1 million to £2 million.
- No personal interview.
- No english language requirement to obtain visa.
- No prior business experience needed.
- No medical examination.
- Government interview is often waived.
- Processing time is very fast, often 1 week to 6 weeks.
The minimum investment required is GBP £ 2 million has to be invested atleast for 5 year term in Government bonds, loan or share capital. ILR (UK permanent residency) is issued after 5 years. The investor is not allowed to invest this money in property, bank deposit. No employment is allowed. The investor is free to do whatever he wants with the remaining £ 250,000 money. Financing option is available but the investor has to prove that he/she has atleaset GBP£ 2 million in assets.
- Applicant must show that they have money of their own under their control in a regulated financial institution amounting to no less than GBP 2 million.
- Must invest for five years 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). Investment in offshore companies not permitted.
- No business experience or the ability to speak English. Some nationals (China, Russia, Nigeria among them) are required to undertake a TB test before submitting their application. Investors are permitted to be gainfully employed under this visa or undertake a course of study in the UK.
- Investor and their family must make the UK their main home. Applicant and their family should not spend more than 180 days per year outside the UK. All children who originally applied as their dependents will only be granted ILR if both parents are eligible for ILR.
- Entry clearance for Tier 1 visa initially issue for 40 months. Within three months of entry into the UK, they are required to make the investment of GBP 2 million which must be maintained throughout the period of leave. At the expiry of the initial 40 month period, the investor must apply for an ‘extension of stay’. The UK government will grant a two year extension of stay to the whole family if the investor has satisfied the requirements for leave to enter, i.e. maintained the investment and adhered to the other general conditions for leave to enter.
Upon successful approval of the application, the investor will be given a 3 year entry clearance visa (40 months), with 2 year renewals and then after 5 years of legal residence in the UK, they qualify for `permanent residence` or `ILR indefinite leave to remain` status, provided the investor has maintained the invested money of £2 million, as stipulated by the program. Once ILR has been granted, you may travel in and out of the UK any time. But you should not spend more than 2 years consecutively outside the UK.
2019 New Changes
The UK Home Office announced significant changes to the UK Immigration Rules which include updates to both Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Investor visa categories. The new rules come into effect on 29 March 2019.
- The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) categories are being replaced by the new Start-Up and Innovator categories. Applicants will be required to have an endorsement by UK trusted bodies. The investment requirement is much lower in each case, at GBP 50,000 but there could be greater uncertainties when applying.
- Applicants to the Tier 1 Investor visa will have to demonstrate that they have held funds of GBP 2 million for at least a two-year period prior to application, rather than the 90-day period currently in place.
- A clarification is also being made to confirm that “price of the investments” means the price the applicant paid for the investments, not the face value (which does not in itself demonstrate that an applicant has invested GBP 2 million in the UK, as required by the rules).
- The basic requirement stipulating that applicants open a UK bank account before making a Tier 1 Investor application is being tightened to ensure that banks confirm that they have carried out all required due diligence checks and Know Your Customer checks before a visa application is processed.
Accelerated ILR Path
- Over £ 5 million, ILR can be issued after 3 years, and for investments
- Over £ 10 million, ILR can be received after 2 years.
Only the main applicant will have his/her route to permanent residence fast tracked through higher level of investment; their dependents (spouse and children) can only apply for permanent residence after living for 5 years in UK.
Eligibility & Requirements
- Must be over 18 years of age.
- Must main the said investment amount throughout without decline in asset value.
- Spend most of the time UK as main home (180 days allowed absence).
- No prior criminal record.
- Sufficient financial means and accommodation
Applicants must have money of your own, under your own control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to not less than £2 million. The money must be disposable in the UK and the applicant must open an account with a UK regulated financial institution
The investment must be made within 3 months, after entering UK. The investor is allowed to bring with family and children under 18 years of age.
The investor will be eligible to apply for UK citizenship after 6 years of stay in the UK. UK allows dual nationality but please keep in mind that your home country may not recognize it.
Source of funds
The Source of funds accepted under gift,deeds of sale,evidence from a business,will,divorce settlement,award or winning
On June 2018, The UK Government announced some changes to the Tier1 investor category.
7.11. The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high net worth individuals making an investment of at least £2 million in the UK. The following changes are being made to this category:
- Applicants are required to maintain their investments. A change is being made to clarify that, while applicants may withdraw interest and dividend payments generated by their qualifying investments from their portfolios, they may not do so if these were generated before the applicant purchased the portfolio.
- As evidence of their investment, applicants must currently submit portfolio reports signed off by a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A technical change is being made to require institutions to confirm that the funds have only been invested in qualifying investments, and that no loan has been secured against those funds. This change will put a further obligation on financial firms to scrutinise the suitability of applicants’ investments, in addition to their own due diligence.
- Home office has also tightened the checks on source of funds.
Points based system (PBS)
The UK Government introduced a “points-based system for non-EEA immigration for the UK in 2008. For Tier1 investor visas, the applicant must have a minimum of 75 points
Total of initial 75 points awarded for applicants who :
- has money of their own, under their control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK, amounting to not less than £2 million
- has opened an account with a UK regulated bank for the purposes of investing not less than £2 million in the UK
Applicants can use money owned either jointly or solely by their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner but they must have an unrestricted right to transfer and dispose of the money and have permission from their partner to have control of the money in the UK. They must provide evidence of the relationship and permission to use the joint funds.
Investment offshore The funds must not be invested in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development
On June 23, 2016 UK voted to leave the European Union and withdrawal date is set at 30 March 2019 at 00:00 (Brussels time).
According to home office statistics, despite brexit fears, UK is still an attractive country for investment and the demand for Tier1 investor investors have soared. Chinese, Russians, Americans and Indians among those who top the table
Applicants may apply for British citizenship one year after being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, providing they satisfy strict residential requirements below:
1. Resident in the UK for 5 years, and have been present in the UK 5 years before the date of citizenship
application, and have not spent more than 450 days outside the UK in 5 years,
2. Have not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 months preceding the application.
Once UK citizenship has been granted, there is no restriction on time spent outside the UK.
The UK allows to have more than one nationality.
The United Kingdom passport is one of the best and highly respected travel documents in the world ranking fifth powerful in the world with visa free access to 186 world countries in 2018