Tier 1 Investor Visa and High Net Worth Immigrants
The Investor Visa was designed specifically by the UK government to attract high net worth immigrants to invest in the UK.
How to obtain a Tier 1 Investor visa
In order to qualify for a Tier 1 investor Visa, the applicant must score 75 points in accordance with the UKBA points assessment requirements. The applicant will need to meet with the following criteria:
- The applicant will need to have money of his own, under his control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to no less than £2 Million; or
- Own personal assets which, taking into account any liabilities to which he is subject, have a value exceeding £2 Million; and
- The applicant has money under his control held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to no less than £2 million.
How to successfully apply for a Tier 1 Investor extension
In order to successfully apply for a Tier 1 Investor visa, the applicant will need to satisfy the following criteria:
The applicant continues to have money of his own under his control in the UK amounting to not less than £2 Million, or
- Owns personal assets which, taking into account any liabilities to which they are subject, have a value of not less than £2 Million, and
- Has money under his control and disposable in the UK amounting to not less than £1 million which has been loaned to him by a UK regulated financial institution.
- The applicant has invested not less than £750,000 of his capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies and;
- Has invested the remaining balance of £1,000,000 in the UK by the purchase of assets or by maintaining the money on deposit in a UK regulated financial institution.
- The investment referred to above was made within three months of gaining the Tier 1 Investor Visa and was maintained throughout the duration of the visa at the appropriate level.
How to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under the Investor Visa category
After a certain period of lawful residency under the Investor Visa, an applicant can apply to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain. The duration in which leave can be obtained depends on the level of investment made by the applicant. There are three potential scenarios:
- The applicant has invested and has continued to invest the sum of £1 Million in the UK. He or she will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after five years.
- The applicant has invested and has continued to invest the sum of £5 Million in the UK. He or she will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after three years.
- The applicant has invested and has continued to invest the sum of £10,000,000 in the UK, and will be able to apply for ILR. He or she will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after two years.
- The applicant is not permitted to be absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months to qualify for settlement.
Advantages of the Tier 1 Investor Visa
- The applicant does not need to meet with onerous procedural requirements as required under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa for an extension or settlement application;
- The applicant or his dependants do not have to meet with the English language requirement;
- The applicant or his dependants do not have to satisfy the maintenance requirement;
- The applicant or his dependants are free to take employment and/or study at a state or private educational establishment during their stay in the United Kingdom;
- There is no need to create full- time paid employment for two settled people in the UK. The applicant can apply for accelerated settlement in as little as two years depending on the level of investment made in the UK.
However there are restrictions as to the type of investment which can be made and the investment will have to stay constant at the £2 Million level, thereby making this investment more onerous.
Switching to a Tier 1 Investor Visa
An applicant can switch to a Tier 1 Investor Visa, providing he or she is in the UK under the following categories;
- a highly skilled migrant;
- a Tier 1 (General) migrant;
- a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant
- a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant;
- a business person;
- an an innovator;
- a student;
- a student nurse;
- a student re-sitting an examination;
- a student writing a thesis;
- a work permit holder;
- a writer, composer or artist;
- an investor;
- a Tier 2 Migrant;
- a Tier 4 Migrant.
How long is the Investor Visa issued for?
The initial visa will be granted for 3 years and 4 months and thereafter upon successfully meeting with the criteria for a Tier 1 extension, the visa will be granted for a further 2 years. After the applicant has completed a continuous period of five years in this visa category, he or she can apply for indefinite leave to remain.
There is also an accelerated path to obtaining indefinite leave to remain (ILR) providing a Tier 1 Investor migrant can show that he has invested a large amount of capital in the UK.
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