From 17 February 2022, Tier 1 Investor visa route has been closed. New applications are not accepted and switching from another category is not possible. Applicants that had their visa granted before that date can still extend their visas, apply for permanent residence (ILR) and bring family members.
Great Britain, with its strong economy, entrepreneurial spirit and high living standards, has long been a hot spot for businessmen from all over the world. Each year, a lot of foreigners come to the UK to start a business, to work and study.
In most cases, to become UK resident, you would need to speak at least basic English, demonstrate your education and experience and meet other stringent criteria of UK immigration authorities. However, applicants for a Tier 1 Investor Visa are a happy exception to this rule.
UK Tier 1 investor visa is a long-term settlement visa for affluent foreigners who want to move to Great Britain. The minimum amount you must invest is £2 million, and the more you invest the quicker you will be able to apply for an indefinite leave to remain (ILR). The earliest you can settle in the UK is 2 years, and become a British citizen – 5 years.
To qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa, you must invest money in a UK-registered company or companies, pass due diligence checks and open an investment account. In exchange for your generous contribution, you will get almost unlimited freedom as to what you can do in the UK. First visa is issued for 3 years and four months and, unless you are eligible to apply for ILR at that point, it can be extended for another 2 years.
UK investor visa comes with a lot of advantages about which we are going to talk now.
There are only a few limitations on investors’ professional activities in the United Kingdom:
spouse, children under 18 Eligible dependants
£2,000,000 Minimum investment
from 1 month Processing time
in 2 years Permanent residence in the UK
in 5 years British passport
UK government is keen on attracting foreign investments to the real economy. Therefore, investors applying for UK Tier 1 investor visa after 29 March 2019 can invest only in shares of UK-registered businesses.
Once you get your visa, you have 3 months to arrive to the United Kingdom, transfer funds to an investment account in the country and buy shares in chosen companies.
The required minimum amount is £2,000,000. The higher it is, the less it will take you to settle and naturalise in Great Britain.
Before your first investor visa expires you can apply to extend it for another 2 years, if needed, provided you comply with the following requirements:
It takes 1-2 weeks to prepare your application. Then we submit it with all supporting evidence. All you need to do is go to a visa centre to have your fingerprints and a photograph taken. A decision will be made within 8 weeks (standard service) or 5 working days (priority service).
Depending on your investment (see the table above) you can apply for ILR in the United Kingdom after 2, 3 or 5 years of continuous residence here. All your family members that initially applied with you, including a spouse/partner, minor children and children that turned 18 since then, can settle at the same time as you do, provided they still rely on you financially.
An indefinite leave to remain gives you almost the same rights as those of British citizens. Once you get your settled status you can return your money. A year after you can apply to naturalise in the United Kingdom and then obtain your first British passport.
If your investment starts at £5,000,000, you can apply for a UK passport in 5 years after arriving in the country. If you do not have more than £2,000,000, you can make an application for British citizenship only after 6 years of continuous residence on the British Isles. In any case, naturalisation is possible only one year after settlement.
If all of the above criteria are met, your British citizenship application will be decided within 6-8 weeks. If approved, you will be given a naturalisation certificate which you will then use to apply for a UK passport.
You should not underestimate legal help and support you can get for your Tier 1 Investor visa and naturalisation applications. Experienced immigration advisers at Imperial & Legal provide comprehensive support to investors at each step of their UK immigration journey.
Immigration advisers of Imperial & Legal will assess your case and walk you through what’s required for UK investor visa. We can meet in our office or have a chat over the phone, or a video call on WhatsApp/Zoom/Skype. We will need a copy of your passport and address to prepare a client agreement.
We will help you open an account in one of British regulated banks and assist with finding profitable investment options. All supporting evidence will be prepared, translated and certified in strict compliance with the UK Immigration Rules. We will fill in all forms and submit them to the Home Office on your behalf.
If you have invested £2,000,000 and are not eligible for fast-track settlement, we will help you extend your investor visa. Imperial & Legal team will check if you have been complying with all requirements, prepare all documents and fill in and submit forms on your behalf.
UK citizenship applications can be made one year after obtaining ILR, but not earlier than 5 years of living in the country. Imperial & Legal team will fill in and submit your naturalisation application to the Home Office. Once approved, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will be given a certificate of naturalisation. With that in hand, our experts will apply for your first British passport.
This visa category is characterised by significant and long-term investments which calls for attention to detail at every step of the way. Experienced immigration advisers will help you minimise risks and save a lot of time and money.
Why choose Imperial & Legal? An office in central London and many years of experience in such matters are key to finding fast and efficient solutions. A UK investment account will take under 7 days to open.
Though you do not need to speak any English when applying for the first investor visa, you might want to apply for ILR after 2, 3 or 5 years of living in the UK, depending on your investment. British immigration authorities assume that a permanent resident must speak good English to understand other speakers and be understood in casual and work environments.
Here is a standard list of evidence that you must provide:
This list can be longer depending on your circumstances.
A biometric residence permit (BRP) is a document confirming your right to be in the United Kingdom and to work or study here.
Such cards are made of polycarbonate and in size resemble debit cards. You will be required by law to collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in Great Britain.
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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