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Everything you need to know about citizenship and residence programs around the globe.
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Tier 1 Investor visa is a long-term residence visa for wealthy individuals who wish to move to the United Kingdom. Under this category, you must invest a minimum of £2,000,000. The more you invest the quicker you will get permanent residence. You can settle in only 2 years and get your British passport in 5 years.
You must invest in UK registered companies with your own money, go through due diligence checks and open an investment account. In exchange for your investment you will get a lot of freedom in terms of what you can do in the UK. First visa is issued for 3 years and 4 months. You can extend it for another two years, unless you have fast-tracked to settlement.
Tier 1 Investor visa is one of the easiest visas to get. You don’t need to prove your knowledge of English. Neither do you need to demonstrate where you studied or worked. You can bring all your immediate family members, including spouse and children. Investor visa is famous for putting almost no restrictions – you and your family will be allowed either study, work, run a business or do nothing and enjoy life in the UK.
You are the one to choose where you are going to invest your funds and you will stay in control of your money till you settle. You can get back the invested amount as soon as you are granted a permanent residence in the UK. If you invest £10,000,000 you can settle in 2 years. In return for your investment, you will get high living standards and security.
You must have at least £2,000,000 of your own money and demonstrate either the source of funds or that the money has been held in your bank account for two years. The UK government gives investors an opportunity to settle in 3 years and get a British passport in 5 years if they invest £5,000,000, or 2 and 5 years correspondingly if they invest £10,000,000.
You must open an investment account with a UK financial institution and pass their due diligence checks. They must give you a confirmation letter. It normally takes 1-2 weeks to prepare the documents and then another 3 weeks for the application to be approved. Once your Tier 1 Investor visa is approved, you must enter the UK within 3 months and invest the required amount in a UK registered business of your choice.
You must prove you have invested not less than £2,000,000 within three months of your arrival (‘investor start date’), and no money has been withdrawn from the account for the duration of your visa. Good news is, you don’t have to maintain the same level of investments, i.e. if the market value of the shares drops, nothing is expected of you.
You must show that you arrived in the UK within 3 months after your investor visa had been issued and all adults were registered with the police. You must include all your dependants in your application. If you have children that turned 18 during the initial visa period, then they can only be included if they are still financially dependent on you. UK Investor visa is extended for 2 years.
If you had invested £1 million in the UK economy before it was increased to £2 million and have not yet applied for settlement, because you do not qualify, you still have until 6 April 2020 to extend your Tier 1 Investor visa on the original terms. You will not be able to do it after that date unless you invest another £1 million as a minimum.
Tier 1 Investors can no longer invest in government bonds starting from 29 March 2019. You can still rely on them in your extension application if you applied before that date; however, you are given only until 6 April 2023 to do so.
It takes 1-2 weeks to prepare the application. Then it is submitted online with all the supporting evidence. All you have to do is go to an appointment where your fingerprints and photograph will be taken. A decision will be made either within 8 weeks (standard processing time) or you can use a priority service and speed it up to 5 working days.
Investors can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain, ILR) after they have spent in the UK continuously 2, 3 or 5 years, depending on the investment. All dependants can be included in the application, even children over 18 if they are still relying on you for financial support. It normally takes 1-2 months to get a decision.
If your investment portfolio includes government bonds, you must apply before 6 April 2025.
If you had applied for Tier 1 Investor visa before the investment requirement was increased to £2 million and you are relying on £1 million, you must file your ILR application before 6 April 2022. If you cannot make it by this deadline, because you do not comply with all the requirements for settlement, you can still apply provided you increase your investment to at least £2 million. However, in this case your qualifying period of 2, 3 or 5 years will start anew.
To be eligible 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. Other things you must prove:
Once your Indefinite Leave to Remain has been granted, you are allowed to withdraw your investment.
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 below. It normally takes 4–6 weeks to get a decision.
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We have been helping high-net-worth individuals worldwide to obtain a Tier 1 Investor visa and relocate to the United Kingdom. Contact us to start your application today.
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