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Investor Visa UK

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 amountWhen you can apply for settlement
GBP 10 million2 years
GBP 5 million3 years
GBP 2 million5 years

Under the old immigration rules, investors were allowed to invest up to GBP 1 million and then top up the investment if it fell below the GBP 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 GBP2 million.

Entry clearance 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.

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.

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

A. The applicant has money of his own, under his control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the United Kingdom amounting to no less than £1 million; or

B. the applicant owns personal assets which, taking into account any liabilities to which they are subject, have a value exceeding £2 million; and

The applicant has money under his control held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the United Kingdom amounting to no less than £1million, which has been loaned to him by a UK regulated financial institution.

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.

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.

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

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 firms30
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 institution30
3. Investment been made within three months of the specified date15

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.

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 amountWhen you can apply for settlement
GBP 10 million2 years
GBP 5 million3 years
GBP 2 million5 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 Entry Clearance
Switching into the Tier 1 Investor visa category
Extending your leave as a Tier 1 investor

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