The Tier 1 Investor Visa route is for migrants who wish to acquire residence on the basis of a substantial investment in the UK. To be eligible for a UK Investor Visa you have to show that you have at least £2million of your own money which is freely transferable to the UK. (Note, the investment funds requirement was raised from £1million to £2million on 6th November 2014 but those who applied under the old rules, before 6th November 2014, will continue to be treated under the old rules.)
If you can provide evidence that you have held the £2million in your own name for at least three months prior to the date of application you are not required to provide any evidence of the source of the money (although the Home Office can request evidence of the source of funds in order to be satisfied the funds were lawfully obtained).
Where the funds being relied on have not been held by you for a 90-day period immediately prior to the date of application, further evidence of the source of the funds is required to be submitted with the application. The funds need to have come from a permitted source. Permitted sources of funds are any of the following: a gift; deeds of sale; evidence from a business; will; divorce settlement or an award of winnings. The further evidence required depends upon the source.
For UK Tier 1 Investor Visa applications made on or after 6th April 2015, applicants will be required to have a UK bank account in order to receive the investment funds before making their application for entry clearance – although the funds do not need to be transferred to the UK before the application – and they will be required to show the specified evidence of this.
The Tier 1 Investor Visa rules state that within three months of the date of your arrival in the UK (or three months from the date the visa is issued if you cannot evidence your date of entry into the UK) you must invest all of the £2million investment funds in the specified forms of investment, i.e. UK Government bonds, share or loan capital in active and trading UK companies. (Please note the rules in this regard changed on 6th November 2014 and it is no longer permitted to invest only 75% of the investment funds in bonds or stocks and shares with the balance in assets.)
If you do not invest the £2million within the three months, you will not be able to extend your stay beyond the initial period of three years and four months should you wish to remain in the UK as an Investor and the Home Office may even curtail your leave as a Tier 1 (Investor).
You will be required to maintain the investment throughout your leave as an Investor but you are not required to ‘top up’ your investment if your portfolio value falls below £2million. Buying and selling investments is permitted, providing the Investor does not withdraw any capital.
You can apply for settlement if you remain in the UK under the Tier 1 (Investor) category for a ‘continuous’ five-year period and maintain the invested funds in the UK for the five years.
‘Continuous’ period – as a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant, you are allowed a certain level of ‘permitted absences’ from the UK during your stay under your Tier 1 (Investor) category without endangering your eligibility for settlement. You are entitled to be absent from the UK for up to 180 days in any twelve-month period (counting those twelve-month periods back from the date of application for settlement).
If you do not meet the residence requirement for settlement, you can apply to extend your visa for a further two years and this can be extended indefinitely, provided the requirements are met.
Options to obtain a faster route to settlement over a period of two or three years are available where a Tier 1 Investor Visa holder’s investment in the UK is £10 million or £5 million respectively.
Our Tier 1 Investor Visa lawyers can assist with all stages of the process and fully prepare the application on behalf of the client. We will advise on the merits at the outset and make clear the legal and evidential requirements so that the application is set up on the best footing from the very start. We of course advise on all the supporting documents and evidence required and take the client through the immigration process from start to finish.
We can assist with templates for documents specified by the Tier 1 Investor Visa rules and deal with third parties where necessary and we aim to make the whole process as smooth as possible. If there are any issues in your immigration matter you will know before applying and we can help best overcome them. In short, we prevent mistakes and ensure any application meets the requirements of the Immigration Rules. We are here to help you safely navigate your way through the UK immigration process.