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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 least demanding with regards to 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 to effect from the 6th of November 2014 now requires that investors would need to have investment funds of at least £2 million.

Coming to the UK as a Tier 1 Investor

Applications under the Tier 1 investor route would normally be accessed based on the ability of the applicant to invest the required investment fund in the UK.

Unlike other Points Based System Migrants, the English Language requirement is not mandatory.

Also, unlike other Points Based System Migrants, the English Language criterion is not required to be fulfilled by the applying individual in this category; this is so because they can choose to work or not to work while in the UK, either way it is permitted.

Also in this category, the individual applying is not required to meet the exclusive criterion for the availability of sufficient fund for maintenance as is applicable to most applications under the points based system. This is so because the individual would have already fulfilled the main requirement for this category and as such have exhibited their capability to maintain and support themselves without recourse to public fund whilst in the United Kingdom.

In this category, the individual applying is not required to meet the exclusive criterion for the availability of sufficient fund for maintenance as is applicable to most applications under the points based system. This is so because the individual would have already fulfilled the main requirement for this category and as such have exhibited their capability to maintain and support themselves without recourse to public fund whilst in the United Kingdom.

Tier 1 investor applicants do not need to meet the English language requirements that is applicable in most other Point Based System applications. The reason might just be because even though Tier 1 investor migrants are able to work in the UK, they usually do work. It is assumed that if they have that amount to invest in the country, they would normally not need to work.

Applicants who wish to enter the United Kingdom as a Tier 1 (investor) category is entitled to points as elaborated in the table below. This is applicable to all individuals that seek to:

  • Receive entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Investor) who has not been granted leave in this category in the last 1 year; and
  • Extend their leave to remain under the Tier 1 (Investors) category in the United Kingdom if the previous permits they have received to reside in the UK were under other categories not the Tier 1 (Investor) or the Previous Investor Category.

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 met the attributes (main requirements) for this category and shown their ability to support themselves in the United Kingdom without needing help from public funds. Again, if you have such huge amounts to invest, you would not necessarily be needing funds from to survive would you?

Points available for initial application under the Tier 1 Investor visa route

Attributes (75 points) Points
I) The applying individual has in his/her possession or in an endorsed financial institution amounts of money that belongs to him/her which sums up to GBP1 million or more and is disposable in the United Kingdom. 75
II) (a). The applying individual has personal possessions/assets of more than £2 million in value if they are to be taken into consideration as liability or (b). The applying person has received a loan of at least £1million from a regulated UK financial institution which is now held under his/her control in a regulated financial institution and is disposable in the United Kingdom.

In a situation where the request of the applicant as a Tier 1 Investor Migrant is rejected by the United Kingdom Border Agency, he/she may choose to challenge the decision by making an application for Administrative Review to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM). If the Entry Clearance Manger Stands by the same decision, the applicant can then challenge the decision further through the Judicial Review in the High; he/she 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 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 partner, unmarried or same-sex partner. Tier 1 investor applicants would need to open a bank account in the UK.

It is also important that the money is held in the UK regulated bank account for 3 months prior to submitting the application. If the money has not been held up in your bank account for 3 consecutive months prior to the date of application, you will need to provide evidence of the source of funds. You may consider the list below as some of the permitted source of funds:-

  • gift
  • deeds of sale
  • a will
  • divorce settlement
  • evidence from a business
  • award of winnings
  • other

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 an 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 suggest that applicants must be at least 18 years of age

Things to take note of when making an entry clearance application

Entry Clearance officers are very likely to refuse an application if they have reasonable grounds to believe that

  • The applicant is not in control of the investment funds;
  • the funds were obtained unlawfully (or by means which would be unlawful if they happened in the UK); or
  • The character, conduct or associations of a party providing the funds mean that approving the application is not in the public interest.

Conditions of the Tier 1 investor visa

If your visa have been granted you must ensure that you fully invest the required amount in qualified investment portfolios. Qualified investments include share, loan capital in active and trading UK companies, or government bonds.

Tier 1 Investor migrants looking to purchase new qualifying investments are able to 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 the 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 been introduced will not be subjected to these changes when they apply for extensions or for settlement (ILR)

Refusals of entry clearance application as a Tier 1 Investor

If your Tier 1 entry clearance application has been refused you can challenge the refusal by way of an Administrative Review request to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM). This allows the ECM to review the decision that was made by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO). If you are not still happy with the decision of the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM), you may challenge the decision by way of a Judicial review in a High Court.

Switching Into Tier 1 Investor Visa

The Immigration Rules permits an individual to switch into the Tier 1 Investor Migrant within the United Kingdom if the applicant is currently granted residence as:

  • a highly skilled migrant;
  • a Tier 1 (General) migrant;
  • a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant;
  • a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant;
  • a business person;
  • an innovator;
  • a student;
  • a student nurse;
  • a student re-sitting an examination;
  • a student writing up a thesis;
  • a work permit holder;
  • a writer, composer or artist;
  • an investor;
  • a Tier 2 Migrant; or
  • a Tier 4 Migrant

Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension Application

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 provided that you score the required points as well as provide the necessary documents to support your application.

Applicants who wish to extend their stay in the United Kingdom under Tier 1 (investor) category are entitled to points as elaborated in the table below. This is applicable to all individuals that have:

  • Received entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Investor) or granted leave in this category in the former Investor category;
  • Had leave under the Tier 1 Investor category in the 12 months prior to when the application was made.
Attributes (pass mark = 75 points) Points
The person applying owns more than £1 million which is under his/her control in the United Kingdom; or 30
  • The applying individual has personal possessions/assets worth more than GBP 2 million in value if they are to be taken into consideration as liability; and
  • The applying person has received a loan of at least £1million from a regulated UK financial institution which is under his/her control and is disposable in the United Kingdom.
30
The applying person has made an investment of his/her capital worth no less than £750,000 in the United Kingdom through Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active trading companies registered in the UK rather than companies that are involved in property investments; also have been have been able to make investments the balance worth £1 million on purchase of assets in the UK or has the money deposited in a regulated UK financial institution. 30
That the above stated investment were made in the space of three months of the date specified below: Either on
  • The date in which an individual who has entry clearance as a Tier 1 (investor) migrant entered the United Kingdom in a case where there is proof that shows date of entry of the individual to the UK.
  • The date in which the individual received entry clearance to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant in a circumstance where there is no proof available that shows the date in which the individual entered the UK.
  • The date in which the individual received entry clearance to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant in a circumstance where there is no proof available that shows the date in which the individual entered the UK.
  • The date in which leave to remain as a Tier 1 (investor) in the United Kingdom was granted to the applying individual in any other situation apart from the circumstance in which the applicant has in his possession, or was previously giving entry clearance or leave to remain as Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant.

15

In a situation where the individual’s application was rejected, he/she 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. In the event that the leave was granted before the 6th of November 2016, the following requirements will be applicable:-

  • You must have access to assets worth more than GBP 2 million points and have GBP 1 million in loans by a regulation financial institution in the UK; or have at least GBP 1 million directly accessible by you in
  • You must have already invested a minimum of GBP 750, 000 of your capital in the UK. This is usually done through Government bonds, shares, active loans, registered UK firms, etc. It is important that the firm’s daily business activity does not involve property and property management.Importantly, the remaining GBP 1 million must have either been used in the purchase of assets or is been maintained as a deposit in a UK regulated financial institution.
  • The investment must have been made in the first 90 days of the applicant's entry into the UK.
  • Where the investment was made prior to when the first leave under the Tier 1 investor route was granted, the investment should be made no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application.

As mentioned above, the rules slightly differ for applications granted on or after the 6th of November 2014. For such applications, the following requirements apply:-

Investor Visa £2,000,000

  • You must have invested a minimum of GBP 2 million in the United Kingdom by way of Government bonds, shares, active loans and registered UK firms.
  • Your investment should have been made within the first 90 days of your arrival to the UK except there are compelling reasons as to why the investment was delayed

Please note also, that in the event that 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 failure of the applicant not making a timely decision, the application is very likely to be rejected.

Point available under the Tier 1 investor visa category

S/No Description Points
1. GBP 1,000,000 under your control in the UK; or have invested not less than £2 million in the UK through Government bonds, shares, active loans and registered UK firms 30
2. Have invested not less than GBP 750,000 in the specified forms and has invested the remaining balance of GBP 1 million in the UK by the purchase of assets or by maintaining the money on deposit in a UK regulated financial institution 30
3. Investment been made within three months of the specified date 15

Investor Visa £5,000,000

The rules for applying under the £5,000,000 is quite 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 years.

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 Indefinite Leave to remain

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 have meet all the required and applicable immigration rules.

You will be able to make an application for indefinite leave to remain if you have been in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years as a Tier 1 Investor.

There is however an accelerated route option if you have invested £5m within 3 years. In this case, where you have invested £5m, you may apply for Indefinite leave to remain at the third year. Furthermore, you will also qualify for settlement within 2 years if you have invested £10m within 2 years.

It is important to note that even after you have obtained settlement (indefinite leave to remain in the UK), you will still need to wait to complete 6 years in the UK to apply for settlement.

Application of indefinite leave to remain 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 5, 3 or 2 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

  • You must have continuously and lawfully resided in the UK for a period of 2, 3, or 5 years (depending on the amount invested)
  • Time spent outside the UK within the period must not exceed 180 days in any given year and/or within the relevant period
  • You must have maintained your investment within the period
  • Must pass the English and life in the UK Test
  • Must not fall under general grounds for refusal.

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:-

  • Entered the route after the 6th of November 2014
  • Legally and continuously resided in the UK for the last 3 years
  • GBP 5million under their control in the UK.

Tier 1 Investor Visa FAQs

 
The type of business does not really have an impact on the prospects of success, so long as the company that has been invested in meets the definition of a qualifying investment
The scenario assuming that the inidividuals in question will be demonstrating the funds by way of “having access to - Need to show that the individual holds the funds £2 million in a regulated financial account for 90 days and if held for less we will need to evidence the source of funds - Need to have a bank account for the UK already set up - Completed a criminal records check for any country that they have had residence in the last 10 years
We have been doing these sorts of applications since 2009 under the old system and since 2011 when it formally became the Tier 1 Investor category.
This category (Tier 1 Investor) is a section of the Points-Based System and is basically for individuals who are outside Europe. It is a category that is focused on individuals of high-net-worth who intend to make financial investments of substance in the United Kingdom. The individual will be evaluated based on his/her ability to make an investment that is worth up to GBP 1,000,000 in the UK; so the applicant does not need a job offer before he/she can make an application under this category.
In a situation where the individual’s application done within the UK was rejected, he/she 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 if he/she has been granted the right to make an appeal. If the applicant has not been granted an appealing right, he/she can oppose the decision by making an appeal through Judicial Review in the High Court. However, if the individuals application was from outside the United Kingdom and it was rejected by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), he/she can apply for an Administrative Review within 28 days of receipt of the with the Rejection Letter; to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM).
The services we offer depends on what stage you are in the application process and what exactly you want to do. We can help you to find out existing opportunities for investments through our some of our corporate friends within the industry. For instance we can help find companies who seek to raise funds that could sum up to £200,000 and above; giving you the opportunity to invest either as a Tier 1 Investor or as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur. We can also offer a helping hand in setting-up a company situated in the United Kingdom by making well your business plans are achieved easily and it is put into effect as required. We also make investment opportunities available in the United Kingdom for investors who seek to make direct investment without seeking for visa. More information is available to you once you contact us.
The length of time required for this process differs as the situation differs. An applicant will be required to make available his/her time schedule if available so that a suitable schedule could be made. The quickest time to for processing this Tier 1 Investor Visa investment is five days, although due to the flexibility of our services some processing could regularly last for up to two to three months.
We do not make direct investments; we work basically with clients who have the needed fund for the class they choose and are willing to make investments.
Our services do not include helping clients acquire funding for their Visa application as Entrepreneur. We mainly work with clients that have the funding that is needing for the Entrepreneur Visa application.
Suitable Entrepreneurial opportunities are made available for individuals who seek for suitable investment opportunities. These opportunities include but are not limited to retailing, consumer brands, technology, social enterprise and online technology. In case you require more information and advice on what investment opportunity would be suitable for you, you can contact us. It is good to note that we have registered high investment opportunities turnover in various sectors as you may require.
The first thing to do here is to contact an immigration lawyer. We would normally recommend one with business immigration expertise.

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