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Citizenship guide
Imperial experience

Tier 1 Investor Visa

Important! From 29 March 2019, Tier 1 (Investor) visa requirements will be dramatically toughened; additional financial checks will be carried out and bank statements for the last 2 years will be required instead of the current 90 days. Don’t miss your chance to apply before 29 March 2019 under the existing rules. 

Tier 1 Investor visa is the easiest way for wealthy foreign nationals to move to the United Kingdom. Under this category you will be asked to invest a minimum of £2,000,000 in the country 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.

Imperial & Legal will guide you through the visa application process and investing of the required amount to get permanent residence in UK and later apply for British passport. We also assist with opening an investment account which is mandatory for Tier 1 Investor visa.

Why choose Tier 1 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 Tier 1 Investor visa applicants

Proof of £2,000,000 available in a bank account in almost any country. These funds must have been held there for at least 3 consecutive months, otherwise you will need to demonstrate their source. 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.

First visa is issued for 3 years and 4 months.

Requirements for Tier 1 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were invested within 3 months after your first entry in the UK (‘investor start date’), and no money has been withdrawn from the account for the duration of your visa.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 bonds 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.

Tier 1 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 Tier 1 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.

VIP service

You can use the VIP service to extend Tier 1 Investor visa or apply for ILR. In this case the Home Office will come to you to take your fingerprints and photograph. Usually, decision is made within 24 hours.

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