Tier 1 Investor Visa

A Tier 1 Investor visa is for non-EEA nationals who are able to invest £2,000,000 or more in UK share capital or loan capital in actively trading and registered UK companies. Investor visa holders are permitted to work, study or engage in business activities in the UK.
 

The requirements under the Tier 1 investor visa were tightened in March 2019 following a government review which;
 

  • require you to demonstrate that they have held wealth of £2million for at least 2 years or, if not, provide evidence of the source of their funds;

  • Remove the option of investing in government bonds

  • Require the UK bank account evidence submitted by initial applicants to include confirmation the bank has carried out all required due diligence checks and Know Your Customer enquiries in relation to the applicant;

  • Requires further evidence that businesses are genuinely active and trading;

  • Provides further requirements for evidence of investment where qualifying invested funds have been further invested through multiple companies;

  • Allows pooled investment vehicles to be invested in but only if that pooled investment vehicle also has investment from a UK or devolved Government department or one of its agencies and this is confirmed in a letter from that agency or department.
     

A Tier 1 (Investor) visa is initially valid for 3 years, but applicants can also extend for a further 2 years subject to meeting all of the extension requirements.
 

Tier 1 Investor visa can:

  • Permitted to work, study and engage in business activities;

  • They can also be accompanied or joined by their dependants;

  • Leads to settlement in the UK after a period of 5 years;

  • Can have accelerated settlement for Tier 1 Investor visa holders who invest more in the UK.
     

Tier 1 Investor visa requirements

  • Be 18 or over to apply for this visa;

  • You have funds amounting to at least £2 million belonging to yourself, your partner or the two of you jointly;

  • Be able to prove that the money belongs to either you or your husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner;

  • You have opened a bank account with a UK regulated bank for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million in the UK;

  • Free to spend (‘disposable’) in the UK;

  • If investment funds held for less than 2 years, then you will need to prove the source of your funds;

  • If applying for a UK Investor visa from overseas, including adult dependants you will need to provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country that you have lived in for at least 12 months in the last 10 years;

  • You will need to make a qualifying investment within 90 days of entering the UK Investor visa category.
     

Investment funds held for less than 2 years

If you have not held the funds for the 2 years before the date of the application (or 90 days if the applicant is applying for accelerated ILR and their initial Tier 1 (Investor) leave was granted under the rules in place before 29 March 2019) and not provided evidence of the source of the funds, you may still qualify for a UK Investor visa if the source of the funds was:

  • A gift was given to them and or their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner within the 2 years;

  • Deed of sale of assets, such as business or property, if the applicant has generated these funds within the 2 years;

  • Business funds are currently held in your business, or the business of the applicant and or their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner;

  • Beneficiary of a will as the applicant and or their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner within the 2 years;

  • If you or their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner has received possessions or assets, rather than money, then you must not accept estimates of the value of the items as evidence of money for investment;

  • The issue of an award or winnings must provide a letter which declares the award or winnings as genuine;

  • Any other source provided that the source can be documented and independently corroborated.
     

English language and Maintenance funds

As a UK Investor visa applicant, you will not need to satisfy any English language or maintenance funds requirement.
 

UK Government Bonds

With effect from 1 October 2019, Tier 1 Investor migrants whose first grant of leave made under the rules in place before 29 March 2019 and who have invested in UK Government Bonds.

  • The investor can make an extension application in the category on or after 6 April 2023, provided they move their investment out of UK Government bonds and into another qualifying investment before this date.

  • They will also be allowed to make an application for indefinite leave to remain on or after 6 April 2025 provided they moved their investment out of UK Government Bonds before this date.

  • If the investor does not meet the above deadlines, they can still apply for a further extension and settlement if they invest the full £2 million in qualifying investments before they apply for further extensions and maintain the full £2 million investment for the qualifying period required for settlement.
     

These changes mean that the relevant Tier 1 Investors do not need to change their investment straight away. But must do it before the deadlines the Home Office has imposed if they want to avoid setting the time, they have accrued towards settlement back to zero.
 

When reinvesting, the investors need to make sure that the funds they previously invested in UK Government bonds are moved into qualifying share capital or loan capital investments in active and trading UK registered companies. Certain investments do not qualify, such as investments in property investment, property management or property development companies, or pooled investment vehicles unless they are funded by a UK or devolved government department or agency. The gross proceeds from the sale of the bonds must also be re-invested in qualifying investments before the end of the investor’s next reporting period, or within 6 months of the sale, whichever is earlier.
 

Extending your Tier 1 investor visa

You may be able to extend your Tier 1 (Investor) visa for a further period of 2 years.

The requirements an applicant needs to meet to extend their leave in the Tier 1 (Investor) category if they were originally granted leave in this category under the Immigration Rules in place on or after 6 November 2014 and before 28 March 2019.
 

To extend their leave, the applicant must show they have:

  • Invested not less than £2 million in the UK, by way of;

  • UK government bonds and or;

  • Share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;

  • Invested the money within 3 months of their specified date

  • Maintained the level of the total investment for the whole of the remaining period of their leave.
     

If you have applied for and been granted a Tier 1 investor visa prior to the 29th March 2019, the ‘old’ rules will continue to apply in respect of visa extensions until 5th April 2023.
 

Tier 1 Investor Indefinite Leave to Remain/ILR/Settlement

You may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor or Tier 1 Investor ILR after spending 2, 3 or 5 years in the UK.  The requirements that you will need to satisfy in order to qualify for Tier 1 Investor visa ILR will depend upon when your initial Tier 1 Investor visa was granted and the amount of your investment. 

If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa before 6 November 2014 and invested of not less than 75% of your £1 million.
 

You will need to submit your Tier 1 Investor ILR application before 6 April 2022.  If you apply for indefinite leave to remain on or after 6 April 2022 but before 6 April 2025, you will need to have invested at least £2 million for 5 years by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies or UK Government bonds.

If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019, you will be able to apply for Tier 1 Investor ILR and had £2 million invested by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
 

If you successfully applied for your Tier 1 Investor visa on or after 29 March 2019, and will be able to apply for Tier 1 Investor ILR and had £2 million invested in the UK by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;

Accelerated Indefinite Leave to Remain/ILR/Settlement
 

You can apply for ILR under the Tier 1 Investor route once you have resided in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor for a continuous period of 5 years.  However, as a Tier 1 Investor you may apply for accelerated ILR after a continuous period of either 2 years or 3 years if you have maintained an investment of at least £10 million or £5 million respectively.

Applicants normally become eligible to apply for ILR after 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, however they can reach ILR stage earlier if they increase their level of investment of either 2 years or 3 years if they have maintained an investment of at least £10 million or £5 million respectively.