Bishop & Sewell

What is it?

The Tier 1 Investor visa is designed to enable investors who make a substantial financial investment to the UK economy to enter or remain in the UK.

What are the main requirements for this visa?

To qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa applicants must be able to demonstrate that:

  • they intend to invest at least £2 million in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in UK companies;
  • the investment funds belong to them or their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner; and
  • they have opened a UK bank account.

The investment funds must be:

  • held in one or more regulated financial institutions; and
  • freely available to spend and invest in the UK.

It is also possible to switch into the Tier 1 Investor category if the applicant is already in the UK under Tier 1, 2 or 4 of the points-based system.

How long can I stay and what are the conditions of my stay?

Applicants can apply to come to the UK for an initial period of 3 years and 4 months. If they are switching into this category from within the UK, they will be granted leave for 3 years. Applicants can then apply to extend their stay in the UK for a further 2 years providing they meet the criteria for extension applications.

Under the extension criteria applicants must demonstrate that:

  • they have at least £2 million under their control in the UK;
  • they have invested those funds in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in UK companies; and
  • they invested this sum within three months of the date they came into the UK, or the date that their original visa application was approved.

When can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (otherwise known as ‘Settlement’)?

An application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be made once an applicant has held a Tier 1 Investor visa for a period of at least 5 years and demonstrated that they have invested £2 million by meeting the criteria above.Applicants must also demonstrate that:

An application for accelerated settlement can be made after 2 years if the applicant has increased their investment to £10 million or 3 years if the investment has been increased to £5 million.

Applicants must also demonstrate that:

  • they have spent the specified period in the UK and during this time have not breached any UK immigration laws;
  • they have not been absent from the UK for any more than 180 days in any 12 months during their specified period; and
  • they have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test.

How we can help?

The requirements of the Tier 1 Investor visa are highly prescriptive and the Home Office routinely refuse applications that do not fully comply with the Immigration Rules and guidance. Our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers will assist in preparing and submitting your application to achieve the best possible outcome. They will also fully advise on the requirements to be satisfied for extension, settlement and British nationality applications.

If you’d like to discuss matters further, please email our Immigration team on immigration@bishopandsewell.co.uk or complete the online enquiry form on this page.

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