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Tier 1 Investor Visa: Initial Visa Application and General Requirements

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The Tier 1 Investor visa is aimed at high-net-worth, non-EEA individuals over the age of 18 years old, who have £2,000,000 or more to invest in the UK.

Entry clearance

 Other than the usual requirements for a UK visa, applicants must be able to prove that:

  • The money belongs to either the applicant or their husband, wife, unmarried, or same-sex partner, and
  • That they have opened an investment account with a UK regulated bank to use for the funds.

At the time of application, the funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions (in the UK or overseas) and must be freely available to spend in the UK.

Applicants must be able to provide evidence showing:

  • That they have at least £2,000,000 and where the money is being held.
  • If you’ve had the money for less than 2 years, where the money came from, and
  • If the money is not already in the UK, that the money can be transferred to the UK and converted to sterling.

If the money belongs to the applicant’s partner, the evidence must include:

  • A marriage, or civil-partnership certificate, or if unmarried, proof that they have been in a long-term relationship for at least 2 years.
  • A statement from the partner stating that they will allow the applicant to control the funds in the UK.
  • A letter from a lawyer confirming that the statement is valid.

Qualifying investments

 To qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa, the funds must be invested in qualifying investments, which include:

  • Share capital or loan capital, an active and trading UK registered company. An active and trading UK registered company means the company must be registered with Companies House, must be registered with HM Revenue and Customs for corporation tax, must bank with and have a trading history with a UK based financial institution, and the business must have at least 2 UK resident employees (who are not directors of the business).
  • UK government (including a delegated government department or one of its agencies) funded pooled investment vehicles.

In practice, most UK registered companies that are listed on the UK stock exchange will qualify, unless it is engaged in one of the listed non-qualifying activities.

Previously, government bonds were a qualifying investment, but not anymore. If the Tier 1 visa holder, however, obtained the visa by investing in UK government bonds under the immigration rules before 29 March 2019, the Tier 1 Investor visa holder may rely on UK government bond investments for extensions of the visa until 5 April 2023, and for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications until 5 April 2025. After these dates, Tier 1 Investor visa holders can no longer rely on UK government bond investments for extensions or ILR applications.

Investments that do not qualify include:

  • Investments via an offshore company or trust.
  • Investments where the underlying investment cannot be guaranteed to be in the UK, such as investments in open-ended investment companies or investment trust companies.
  • Pooled investment vehicles (unless funded by the UK government).
  • Investments in property companies mainly engaged in investment, management, or development of property, including companies that earn a return through rental income (Investment in construction firms, manufacturers, or retailers who own their premises may however qualify).
  • Premium bonds and saving certificates issued by the National Savings and Investment Agency.
  • Funds invested solely as a deposit with a bank, building society, or other enterprises whose normal business includes accepting deposits.

It should be noted that all the capital initially invested must remain invested for as long as the applicant remains in the UK under the Tier 1 Investor visa.

Validity

 The initial visa is granted for 3 years and 4 months, after which the applicant can apply for a 2-year extension.

CONSULTATION FROM LONDON IMMIGRATION LAWYERS

You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.