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Citizenship guide
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Tier 1 Investor Visa

On 29 March 2019, new changes have been made in the Investor visa category. They include:

  1. You will be required to show the source of funds. If you are unable to do it, you must show that the money has been held on your account for 2 years;
  2. UK financial institutions, where an investment account is open, are required to conduct due diligence and Know-Your-Client procedures on all investors and confirm they have done so in their letter;
  3. You will no longer be able to invest in government bonds. Instead, you can invest in UK registered companies.

Imperial & Legal will guide you through the visa application process and investing of the required amount to get permanent residence and later apply for British passport. We also assist with opening an investment account which is mandatory for this visa.

Why choose investor visa?

Investors can bring all their immediate family members, including spouse and children. They are permitted, but not obliged, to work, get education and do business in the UK. Other benefits include:

  • No language test
  • No business experience required
  • Permanent residence in 2 years
  • UK passport in 5 years

Eligibility for Investor visa applicants

You must invest a minimum of £2,000,000 in a UK registered business for no more than five years. Investment of £5m or £10m entitles an investor to settle in 3 or 2 years correspondingly. You don’t need to prove your knowledge of English till you apply to settle.

£2,000,000 requirement can be satisfied in two ways; either by demonstrating the source of funds or that the money has been held in your bank account for two years. Apart from the proof of funds the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Have an opened UK bank account for investments.
  • Tuberculosis test (for some nationalities).
  • Criminal record certificates for the last 10 years.

New requirements have been introduced for financial institutions opening investment accounts. They will now have to conduct due diligence and KYC procedures on all investors and state that in their letters.

First visa is issued for 3 years and 4 months.

Requirements for investor visa extension

An applicant must prove that at least £2,000,000 were invested within 3 months after your first entry in the UK (‘investor start date’), and no money has been withdrawn from the account for the duration of your visa.

New regulations don’t require you to maintain the same level of investments, i.e. if the market value of the shares drops down, nothing is expected of you.

Apart from that, you need to prove that you first arrived in the country within 3 months after your visa was issued, and all adults were registered with the police.

Investor visa is extended for 2 years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Investors can apply for settlement (or Indefinite Leave to Remain, ILR) after they have spent in the UK continuously 2, 3 or 5 years, depending on the investment:

  • Settlement after 2 years if you invested at least £10,000,000
  • Settlement after 3 years if you invested at least £5,000,000
  • Settlement after 5 years if you invested at least £2,000,000

To apply for ILR, you must prove that:

  • You have been outside the UK less than 180 days in any 12 calendar months before applying for ILR, beginning from the first date of entry. Dependants are granted ILR once the main applicant gets this leave.
  • The required sum was invested (from £2m to £10m) and no amount has been withdrawn.
  • You and all adult dependents hold an English speaking and listening qualification at level B1 or above.
  • You and all adult dependants passed the Life in the UK test.

British citizenship and passport

You and your family can apply to be naturalised or registered as British citizens in 12 months after ILR is granted and 5 years after first entry under Investor visa, provided everybody meets all the eligibility criteria:

  • Less than 450 days spent outside the UK during those 5 years prior to applying for naturalisation, and no more than 90 days in the last year.
  • No breach of criminal or immigration laws.
  • English speaking and listening qualification at level B1 or above.
  • Life in the UK test.

UK Tier 1 Investor Visa. Investor visa to UK requirements. Get UK Investor visa.

VIP service

You can use the VIP service to extend investor visa or apply for ILR. In this case the Home Office will come to you to take your fingerprints and photograph. However, in order to speed up the process, you need to request a super priority service and the decision will be made within 5 working days.

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