Tier 1 (Investor) Visa – Short Guide
The Immigration Rules Points Based System
“The rules governing the PBS are set out in the Immigration Rules and the appendices to those rules. These provisions have now achieved a degree of complexity which even the Byzantine Emperors would have envied.” – Lord Justice Jackson in Pokhriyal  EWCA Civ 1568.
As can be seen in this quote from Lord Justice Jackson, navigating through the complex Immigration Rules is likely to require the assistance of a specialist immigration solicitor.
The Tier 1 (Investor) route
Our firm will take you through the application process if you wish to pursue the investor visa route for entry into the United Kingdom. We have produced this brief guide for your reference.
The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is designed for high net worth individuals who want to invest and reside in the United Kingdom.
The Tier 1 (Investor) visa category applies to the main applicant and all immediate family members, including spouse and children under the age of 18.
The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is granted for an initial period of 3 years and 4 months (3 years if the application is made in the UK) and can be extended for a further 2 years.
Once in the UK, Investors are free to undertake business activities and employment. Investors are not required to work or study in order to maintain their Investor visa.
In order to make a successful Investor application, the applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
The applicant has money of their own which is not less than:
- £1 million (category 1); or
- £5 million (category 2); or
- £10 million (category 3); and
- Under their control;
- Held in a regulated financial institution;
- Disposable in the UK;
- The money the applicant has is free from restrictions and can be transferred to the UK if the applicant is successful.
The applicant intends to invest not less than 75% (i.e. £750,000, £3.75 million or £7.5 million respectively) in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active trading UK registered companies; with the remaining 25% held in the UK either in deposit with a UK bank or as equity in a UK property.
The applicant needs 75 points to satisfy the requirements for the specific criteria under the Investor sub-category.
|A) Applicants must have at least £1,000,000 of their own money in a regulated financial institution in the UK, or||75 points|
B) (i) Own personal assets which exceed £2,000,000 in value, provided they are not subject to any liabilities; and
ii) Have money under their control held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK of at least £1,000,000, which may include money loaned to them provided it was loaned by a financial institution regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Conditions of stay
Investors must ensure that the minimum investment of £1 million, £5 million or £10 million is maintained at all times. If there is a shortfall in the level of investment, this must be made up by the next reporting period.
The number of days that the applicant is permitted to spend outside of the UK has been increased to 180 days per year when applying for British citizenship. Applicants in the first category are eligible to apply for British citizenship after having spent 6 years in the country, while those who have invested in the second and third categories are eligible to apply after 5 years of residence in the UK.
Investing in the UK
The investment into the UK economy can be made through purchasing United Kingdom Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading companies that are registered in the United Kingdom. Investment in share or loan capital in active and trading companies that are registered in the United Kingdom can include investment held in foreign currencies. Twenty five percent (25%) of the investment funds can be held in a personal account or invested into property.
Brief Legal Process
- Secure Personal Details (complete introductory pro forma) & Consultation Fee payable
- Money Laundering/Due Diligence Checks (e.g. we need to see original identity documents or certified documents from a suitable third party; If the client has already invested monies in the UK we need to secure details of the investments made)
- Payment on Account Requested
- Verify Original Documents before we enter into a retainer
- Take Full Instructions
- Advice Given
- Documents Requested
- Evidence in form of original documents to show source of funds and so we can undertake verification checks
- If applying with Spouse/Partner (or children) complete steps 1-8 as applicable
- Evidence of relationship will be needed of wife/partner/children if applicable.