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Investor Visa UK

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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 the least demanding in its 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 £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.

Coming To The UK As A Tier 1 Investor

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:

  • 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 UK if the previous permits they have received to reside here were under other categories

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:

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

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:

  • 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)
  • 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 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).

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 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.

Switching Into The Tier 1 Investor Visa

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:

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 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:

  • Received entry clearance as a Tier 1 Investor, or been 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)

  • The applicant owns more than £1 million which is under their control in the UK (30 points)
  • The applicant has personal possessions/assets worth more than GBP 2 million in value if they are to be taken into consideration as liability. Also, the applicant has received a loan of at least £1 million from a regulated UK financial institution, which is under their control and is disposable in the UK (30 points)
  • The applicant has made an investment of their capital worth no less than £750,000 in the UK 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, they have been able to make investments worth £1 million on the purchase of assets in the UK, or have money deposited in a regulated UK financial institution (30 points)
  • The above investments were made in the space of three months on the dates specified below (15 points):
    • The date in which an individual who has entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant entered the UK in a case where there is proof that shows date of entry of the individual to the country
    • 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 UK was granted to the applicant, in any other situation apart from the circumstance in which the applicant has in their possession, or was previously given, entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant

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:

  • You must have access to assets worth more than GBP 2 million and have GBP 1 million in loans by a regulated financial institution in the UK (or have at least GBP 1 million directly accessible to you)
  • 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 being 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 differ slightly for applications granted on or after the 6th of November 2014. For such applications, the following requirements apply:

  • You must have invested a minimum of GBP 2 million in the UK 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 unless there are compelling reasons as to why the investment was delayed

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:

  • GBP 1,000,000 under your control in the UK; or have invested no less than £2 million in the UK through government bonds, shares, active loans and registered UK firms (30 points)
  • Have invested no 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 points)
  • Investment being made within three months of the specified date (15 points)

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 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 this 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 5 million under their control in the UK

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 solicitors. We also offer our initial over-the-phone consultation for free.

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Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

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Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

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thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

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"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

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As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

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"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

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"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

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Top Notch Immigration Service

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Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

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"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

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