Tier 1 (Investor) Visa
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 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 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.