Entering the UK as an Investor
This page explains how to obtain entry into the UK on the Tier 1 UK Investor Visa Scheme. It also applies to those who are already in the United Kingdom on another visa but wish to switch onto the UK Investor Visa. Our immigration lawyers are experienced in both types of cases.
Please click here for our list of services once you have the Tier 1 Investor Visa.
What is the UK Investor Visa ? – How do I obtain British Nationality through Investment ?
This visa category is designed to encourage wealthy individuals looking to reside in the UK to invest a minimum of £2 million in the UK. In return, the applicant making the UK investment is granted a an initial 3-year period of residence in the UK. As an added benefit, visa holders are permitted to be employed, study or undertake business activities in the UK.
Initial Requirements – 2 million pounds
You must show that you have access to at least 2 million pounds or equivalent in another currency. These funds do not need to be in the UK before you make your application.
This can be shown in one of four ways:
- You hold £2 million which you intend to bring to the United Kingdom. The money may be held in your name or that of your partner.
- You already hold £2 million pounds within a UK bank account
- You hold £2 million pounds in investments outside the United Kingdom
- You have pre-existing permitted investment made within the UK in the last 12 months.
These funds / investments can be in your account, and in your name, and if held for more than 90 days, no additional source of wealth / funds is asked for by the UK authorities.
If the funds are held for less than 90 days in your name, then the Immigration authorities will want clarification of the source of funds, but usually not the source of wealth.
Usually proving the source of wealth is relatively easy, as it can be shown that these were either a gift, proceeds from the sale of property, or other forms of earnings.
We can use the existing Home Office rules to avoid any clarification of the source of funds through careful management of existing investments or funds, balancing your privacy with the need to meet the rules. Please contact us for more details.
The investment account
A relatively recent additional requirement is that you will need to ensure that you have a UK investment account opened before you apply for the visa. It is important to note that the visa rules require an investment account, as opposed to a normal retail or savings account.
This can often raise difficulties as those who have no residence permit for the UK often find it hard to open any type of bank account in the UK.
We have built connections with banks who we can introduce to our clients, as part of our preparation process, who can not only open the bank account – in the correct investment format but also prepare the exact wording of the letter required by us to meet the immigration authorities rules in your application.
Making the application
Our experience in Investor and other visas is such that we are able to obtain these visas for clients, smoothly, quickly and simply. Often the whole process takes a matter of days from start to finish, and as the application is made online, we can manage the whole process from our offices in London, as we do for thousands of clients each year.
Usually, we prepare all the documents, using scans, with the originals staying with you.
We book an appointment for you online, at your convenience to ensure that the appointment is as smooth as possible, as well as ensuring that the usual premium and priority services are purchased for you.
We then obtain a response within a few days, when you visa is returned to you. You then obtain a 3 year 4 month visa which can later be extended. Initially, the stamp in your passport is for 30 days to enable you to collect the plastic visa card which is valid for 3 years and 4 months.
Call our offices for more details on 0207 118 4546.
Additional aspects of the Investor Visa, UK
Once you have the visa, we can introduce you to wealth advisors who we know and trust.
We are also on hand, to work with your existing financial advisors, if you have any, to ensure we work together to ensure your Tier 1 investments are both compliant, and viable for you, and within the Immigration Rules set out by the UK Immigration Authorities.
There are accelerated settlement options with the Investor Visa. Essentially this means that you have a choice of investing greater levels into the UK, which allow you to settle in the UK faster. This settled status is known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). (Most countries refer to this as permanent residency.)
The immigration authorities have set out the following tranches.
- An investment of £2 million – PR after 5 years
- An investment of £5 million – PR after 3 years
- An investment of £10 million – PR after 2 years
A note on obtaining British citizenship by Investment
It should be noted that you would have PR in the manner listed above, but to be able to apply for British Nationality – this could only be done 1 year after obtaining PR /Indefinite Leave to Remain.
This means that even on the £5 million and £10 million routes you can apply for the British passport once you have lived (meaning spending at least half the year here) in the UK for a period of at least 5 years, but under the 2 million route, you could obtain British nationality on the 6th year.
The UK Tier 1 investor visa is one of the simplest and smoothest means to obtain British nationality.
There are always however, small details which have to done correctly, contact our lawyers to speak to our industry leading investor visa lawyers.
If you have the Investor visa already – please click here for our list of services once you have the Tier 1 Investor Visa, how we can help extend the visa, obtain Indefinite Leave, we can ensure British Nationality , advice on investments and their compliance with the rules.
Speak to our lawyers today on 0207 118 4546 to get more advice and to start your case today.