The Tier 1 Investor visa is designed for high net worth individuals who are looking to invest, as well as enter and remain in the UK. It is widely touted to be the most popular and the least demanding in its requirements.
The qualifying periods of settlement vary, depending on the level of investment.
|Investment Amount||When You Can Apply for Settlement|
|GBP 10 million||2 years|
|GBP 5 million||3 years|
|GBP 2 million|| 5 years|
Under the old immigration rules, investors were allowed to invest up to £1 million and then top up the investment if it fell below the £1 million required investment funds. However, new immigration laws, which came into effect from the 6th of November 2014 now require investors to have investment funds of at least £2 million.
Applications under the Tier 1 Investor route are based on the applicant's ability to invest the required amount into the UK.
Unlike other points-based system migrants, the English Language requirement is not mandatory.
Also, under this category, the applicant is not required to meet the exclusive criterion for the availability of funds for maintenance (as is applicable to most applications under the points-based system). This is because the applicant would have already fulfilled the main requirement for this category, and therefore would have exhibited their capability to maintain and support themselves without recourse to public funds whilst in the UK.
Applicants who wish to enter the UK as a Tier 1 Investor are entitled to the points shown in the table below. This is applicable to all individuals who seek to:
The Home Office would normally grant a leave for up to 4 years and 4 months for a Tier 1 Investor visa.
Also, with regards to maintenance funds, Tier 1 Investor migrants would not need to show or meet any maintenance funds requirement. This is because they will have already met the main requirements alongside being able to support themselves without needing help from public funds.
These are the points available for the initial application under the Tier 1 Investor visa route:
|The applicant has in their possession (or in an endorsed financial institution) amounts of money that belong to them amounting to the sum of GBP 1 million or more, and is disposable in the UK. (75 points)|
|(a). The applicant has personal possessions/assets of more than £2 million in value if they are to be taken into consideration as a liability or (b). The applicant has received a loan of at least £1 million from a regulated UK financial institution, which is now held under their control in a regulated financial institution and is disposable in the UK. (75 points)|
In a situation where the request of the applicant as a Tier 1 Investor migrant is rejected by the UK Border Agency, they may choose to challenge the decision by making an application for Administrative Review to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM). If the ECM stands by the same decision, the applicant can then challenge the decision further through the Judicial Review in the High Court - they may then be granted Leave to Enter for 3 years and 4 months if the application is successful.
Furthermore, you will need to demonstrate that you have access to at least GBP 2 million, which is under your control. It is important that the required fund is kept in a regulated financial institution and the funds are disposable in the UK. You may also rely on funds jointly owned by your husband, wife, civil, unmarried or same-sex partner. Tier 1 Investor applicants would also need to open a bank account in the UK.
It is also important that the money is held in a UK regulated bank account for 3 months prior to submitting the application. If the money has not been held in your account for 3 consecutive months prior to the date of application, you will need to provide evidence of the source of funds. The list below denotes the permitted source of funds:
As a result of changes in the immigration rules, which came to effect on the 1st of September 2015, Tier 1 Investor applicants will now need to provide overseas criminal record certificates for the country that they have continuously resided in for the past 12 months or more (within the 10 year period prior to submitting their application).
The rules also state that applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
Things to take note of when making an entry clearance application:
Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) are very likely to refuse an application if they have reasonable grounds to believe that:
Conditions of the Tier 1 Investor visa
If your visa has been granted, you must ensure that you fully invest the required amount in qualified investment portfolios. Qualified investments include shares, loan capital in active and trading UK companies, or government bonds.
Tier 1 Investor migrants looking to purchase new qualifying investments can do so if they sell part of their current UK investment portfolios. In this case, if the value of their current portfolio falls short of the required investment funds, the applicant will need to replace shortfalls in funds with the new qualifying investment.
The UKBA have introduced transitional arrangements, such that Tier 1 Investor migrants who have been on this application prior to the changes being introduced will not be subjected to these changes when they apply for extensions or settlement (ILR).
If your Tier 1 entry clearance application has been refused, you can challenge the refusal by way of an Administrative Review request to the ECM. This allows the ECM to review the decision that was made by the ECO. If you are not still happy with the decision of the ECM, you can challenge the decision by way of a Judicial review in a High Court.
The Immigration Rules permit an individual to switch into the Tier 1 Investor migrant within the UK if the applicant is currently granted residence as:
If your current leave to remain in the UK is as a Tier 1 investor, you may be eligible to make an application to extend your leave if you score the required amount of points, as well as provide the necessary documents to support your application.
Applicants who wish to extend their stay in the UK under the Tier 1 Investor category are entitled to the points detailed below. This is applicable to all individuals who have:
(pass mark = 75 points)
In a situation where the individual's application was rejected, they can choose to oppose the decision by making an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal in no more than ten days after which the rejection letter was refused. The applicant will receive an extension to remain for 2 years as a Tier 1 Investor migrant if the application is a success.
Investor Visa £10,000,000
Please note that the requirements for a Tier 1 Investor visa would normally vary depending on the period the initial leave to remain was granted. If the leave was granted before the 6th of November 2016, the following requirements will be applicable:
As mentioned above, the rules differ slightly for applications granted on or after the 6th of November 2014. For such applications, the following requirements apply:
Please note also, if there is a delay in making an investment, the reasons for the delay must not be foreseeable and must be beyond the control of the applicant. If the reasons relate to the applicant not making a timely decision, the application is very likely to be rejected.
The points distribution is laid out below:
Investor Visa £5,000,000
The rules for applying under £5,000,000 are similar to the ones explained above.
Length of Stay
If your Tier 1 Investor extension application is successful, you will be granted a leave of 1 year.
Tier 1 Investor Refusal
If your Tier 1 Investor application is refused, you may appeal to the first-Tier tribunal. It is important that the appeal is made within 10 workings days from the date of receiving the refusal letter.
Tier 1 Investor ILR
Tier 1 Investor visa holders who have completed the required length of stay in the UK as per the qualifying investment amount would be eligible for settlement. It is important they meet all the required and applicable immigration rules.
You will be able to make an application for ILR if you have been in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years as a Tier 1 Investor.
However, there is an accelerated route if you have invested £5m within 3 years. In this case, where you have invested £5m, you may apply for ILR in the third year. Furthermore, you will also qualify for settlement within 2 years (if you have invested £10m).
It is important to note that even after you have obtained settlement (ILR in the UK), you will still need to wait and complete 6 years in the UK to apply for settlement.
ILR applications as a Tier 1 Investor should normally be submitted just before the expiry of your current leave to remain.
Settlement under this route vary, depending on whether the applicant has lived for a continuous period of 2,3 or 5 years (depending on the amount invested under the Tier 1 Investor category).
|Investment amount||When you can apply for settlement|
|GBP 10 million||2 years|
|GBP 5 million||3 years|
|GBP 2 million||5 years|
Requirements for Settlement as a Tier 1 Investor migrant:
Accelerated route to ILR - 3 years
As mentioned earlier, Tier 1 investors may still qualify for settlement without spending 5 years in the UK if they have:
If you need any further advice on the Tier 1 Investor route or any other immigration-related query, do not hesitate to get in contact with our team of expert immigration lawyers. We also offer our initial over-the-phone consultation for free.
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