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Becoming British on a Tier 1 Investor Visa

The Tier 1 Investor Visa was set up for individuals with investable assets of at least £2 million to be able to come to the UK in order to invest in a British business and live in the country. The benefits of this visa route are numerous and as such, it is one of the most sought-after visas available for those coming to the UK.

In this article, we look at the Tier 1 Investor Visa in more detail and more specifically how you can use a Tier 1 Investor Visa to become a British citizen and gain the benefits that it will bring to you and your dependents.

So, how do I become a British citizen on a Tier 1 Investor Visa?

In essence, you become a British citizen on the Tier 1 Investor visa route much like you do in any of the other visa routes - by being in the UK for the prescribed amount of time until you become eligible for indefinite leave to remain. After spending an appropriate time which is normally 12 months having Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK you can apply to become a British citizen. The main beauty of the Tier 1 Investor Visa is that you can drastically reduce the amount of time you need to live in the UK to become a British citizen. From around 6 years on most routes to 3 if you have enough assets.

With the £2 million level of investment, you can get a visa to be in the UK for 3 years and 4 months. This initial period can be extended and can take you up to your 5 years. If you can manage to have even more assets, you can reduce the amount of time needed to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain - if you have £5 million to invest then you can reduce it to 3 years and if you have £10 million to invest then you can reduce it to 2. As you can see, with a large level of investment you can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes you to get Indefinite Leave to Remain and therefore also significantly reduce the amount of time it can take you to become a British citizen

How long until I can become a British citizen?

Depending on the level of investment available you can significantly reduce the time needed down to as little as 3 years (2 years for ILR on the £10m investment level & 12 months before being able to apply). This makes it a very attractive route for high net worth individuals to come to the UK and have a reasonably easy path to citizenship.

The idea is to draw high net worth investors to the UK and the Tier 1 Investor Visa does a good job of offering very generous terms for those that can invest in the UK. It is a win-win for everyone. These wealth creators are a big benefit to the UK and it is right that they are rewarded for bringing their investment to the UK.

What are the benefits of becoming a British citizen?

British citizens enjoy some of the best benefits available for their passport holders which you will be eligible for once you are a British citizen. You will also never have to worry about your visa status ever again as you will now be a naturalised citizen of the UK this has many many benefits and is the reason why has become so popular.

With British citizenship will I be a European citizen?

With Brexit on the horizon, it is unclear as to the rights British passport holders will have to travel to the continent after Brexit in March 2019. Currently, there are no plans to remove British citizens rights and if you were to become a British citizen your rights would not be affected. This is as of now, obviously, the negotiations are still ongoing and the future of freedom of movement has not been dealt with. It is impossible to say at this point whether or not you will still qualify as a European citizen after Brexit but in all likelihood, you, along with every other British citizen will lose their right to remain as a European citizen.

Can I be sent home once a British citizen?

No, once you are a British citizen you will not lose your citizenship - for all intents and purposes you became a British citizen and therefore Britain is your home and you will not be removed from it.

This is a big concern for many who are considering applying for British citizenship and it is also one of the biggest benefits of gaining British citizenship. You will no longer be concerned about your immigration status inside the UK if your application is granted

What about my children/dependents?

You are applying to become a British citizen the same eligibility rules apply to them. As long as they are also eligible the same will apply to your dependents. There should be no problems with you applying together and indeed if your children were born inside the UK then you will likely have an even stronger claim for yourself and they may even be automatically entitled to be a British citizen.

If you are unsure about yours or your children's eligibility then please get in touch and we could discuss your case with you. As highly experienced immigration solicitors we are best placed to advise you.

How we can help

As experienced immigration solicitors we can help you with your case, we can help you put your application together and give you advice and support on any and all immigration matters.

So if you want to talk to somebody today about your immigration case please contact us and we'll be happy to discuss it with you.

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