What is a Tier 1 (Investor) visa ?
High net worth individuals can qualify for an investment visa, known as the Tier 1 (Investor) visa, by making a minimum investment of £2 million in active and trading UK registered companies. The investor visa is a permissive and flexible visa that allows high net worth individuals the freedom to live, work and study in the UK.
If you maintain your £2 million investment for five years, you can become eligible for permanent residence, also known as “indefinite leave to remain” or “settlement”. One year after obtaining permanent residence you may become eligible for British citizenship.
Can I bring my family with me to the UK under the Tier 1 (Investor) visa?
Investors are permitted to bring their partners or spouses to the UK, as well as children under the age of 18.
What are the benefits of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa?
The main advantage of this visa is that, subject to the performance of the investment, you will likely receive back most of the money you invested at the end of the five years.
Most investors will connect with a UK-regulated wealth management company that has expertise in dealing with this type of visa.
Shepherd and Wedderburn’s legal team can introduce you to companies with this type of expertise.
Requirements of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa
You need to:
- have control of £2 million of your own funds;
- have opened an account with a UK-regulated bank for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million;
- provide a valid criminal record certificate from each of the countries you have been resident in (if applying from abroad); and
- provide a Tuberculosis test certificate, if applying from a relevant country.
Our immigration specialists will work with you from the outset to ensure you meet the initial entry requirements and, just as importantly, we will ensure you are aware of the requirements you must satisfy in order to extend your visa, and settle in the UK.
Extending your stay as a Tier 1 (Investor)
A Tier 1 (Investor) visa allows you to enter the UK and stay for an initial period of three years and four months. If all requirements have been complied with, you can apply to extend your stay for a further two years.
After five years, if you do not meet the requirements for permanent residence, you can continue to apply for two-year extensions, provided you have maintained the initial investment.
Settling in the UK as a Tier 1 (Investor)
After completing two, three or five years in the UK, depending on how much you have invested in line with the rules, you should be able to obtain permanent residence.
You will normally need to:
- prove your investment remains compliant;
- ensure you have not exceeded 180 days’ absence in any rolling 12-month period;
- pass a Life in the UK Test; and
- pass an appropriate English language test.
Accelerated route to permanent residence
Normally, the holder of a Tier 1 (Investor) visa will acquire permanent residence after holding this visa for a period of five years. Accelerated routes are available for those who invest larger sums:
- Three years if you invest £5 million.
- Two years if you invest £10 million.
Only the main applicant will be eligible for accelerated settlement. Any dependent family members will still need to complete five years’ residence.
Additionally, if British citizenship is an objective, the accelerated investment routes will not alter the five-year residence requirement for British citizenship, so the accelerated routes are not always a good fit.
Our immigration team will consider both your short term and long term goals and help you plan the best strategy for you and your family.
Tax implications for a Tier 1 (Investor)
It is important to be aware of the impact of your proposed residence on your tax liability. Normally, a person who is tax resident in the UK is liable to UK tax on their worldwide income and gains. There may also be implications as a result of moving funds to the UK from a foreign jurisdiction. In all cases, local legal and tax advice should be sought.
Our tax planning experts work alongside our immigration team and can advise you on the best way forward for you. Read more about our tax planning services.
How can Shepherd and Wedderburn’s immigration experts help?
Our team has successfully dealt with a large number of investor cases over the years. We will work with you to prepare a robust application that meets the UK Government’s requirements.
If the investor visa doesn’t sound like the right fit for you, there may be other immigration options worth exploring at a consultation, such as the representative of an overseas business visa, the innovator visa, or the global talent visa.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss this further, please contact Kerry Adams on firstname.lastname@example.org with some further details about your circumstances and plans.