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UK permanent residence for Tier 1 investors: A step-by-step guide

PUBLISHED: 6 December 2019

Different investors have different reasons to invest in the UK economy and it is not always because they want to move here. We have already mentioned in our previous posts that investing money in the United Kingdom can be in itself so profitable that investors flock here bringing billions of pounds without the need to benefit from that extra bonus from the government and immigration authorities.

However, a status of a Tier 1 investor gives the right to stay in the UK, study, work or run a business here without any limitations, and in a couple of years an opportunity to apply for UK settlement. And it would be unreasonable not to use this. Here we will advise how an investor can get permanent residence in Great Britain.

When can I apply for UK settlement?

Investors have a choice of three timescales for when they can settle in the UK and they are directly linked to the investment amount:

  1. Invest £10,000,000 and settle in 2 years;
  2. Invest £5 000 000 and settle in 3 years;
  3. Invest £2 000 000, extend your visa in 3 years and settle 5 years after your first entry to the UK as an investor.

Since the investment can only be made in the capital of UK registered companies, after the changes in March 2019, it is no longer possible to invest in relatively safe government bonds. As any business involves risk it is good to have a choice; the more you are prepared to invest, the quicker you’d get your permanent residence and could decide what to do with the money.

Competent immigration lawyers from our company will help you minimise investment risks by checking and double-checking the background of the business where you want to invest your money.

How to get permanent residence in the UK?

The Home Office have all the reasons to ask of a person who wants to become permanently resident in the country to get integrated in the British society on a much bigger scale than just a foreign investor. That is why there are a few stringent requirements to comply with when you apply for UK settlement.

Requirement for permanent residence in the UK

  1. You must prove that the required amount has been invested in full and within the required time limit and there have been no withdrawals of funds during the validity of your visa.
  2. Since your first entry to the UK on a Tier 1 Investor visa you must spend most of the time here and in any 12-month period you must not be absent for more than 180 days.
  3. Your knowledge of English must not be lower than level B1. You don’t have to speak it fluently, but it must be enough to communicate with locals on the matters of everyday life, send simple business emails and read short professional texts.
  4. You must also pass the Life in the UK test. It has 24 questions about different periods and aspects of the UK history and everyday life. These questions are available in special books that you can use to prepare for the test in advance, and it is well worth it because some questions would puzzle even British people.

If you have moved to the United Kingdom with a family, all adult family members, including your spouse and financially dependent children must pass both an English exam and the Life in the UK test.

What do I do next?

If you comply with all the above criteria, you become permanent resident in the UK and free to choose where you will work and live irrespective of your investment and how big it was. If you decide to get your money back, you can do it now.

One year after settlement you can apply for naturalisation and a British passport. It is the last milestone in your immigration history when you become a full-blown citizen of the United Kingdom. The naturalisation process is not to mess about with; it has a lot of pitfalls that would be better to discuss with immigration lawyers.

You might have already realised that the settlement and naturalisation processes are not as easy as they may sound. In order to avoid wasting your time and money, talk to a professional immigration lawyer and they will make it smooth and hassle-free from the initial visa application to your first British passport application.

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