Posts Tagged ‘Investing’

Tier 1 High Net Worth Investor Visa Information

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is designed for high net worth individuals who want to relocate themselves and their family to the UK. The citizenship is granted only to the individuals who can provide a significant investment to the UK economy. Only a few hundred of these visas are granted per year and very few immigration firms have a consistent track record in Investor visa applications, and Bloomsbury Law is one of these firms.

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa category applies to the main applicant and all immediate family members, including spouse and children under the age of 18.  Initially, investor visa is granted for three years and four months and can then be extended for another two years, by providing evidence that an investment of at least £2 million was made in the UK.  There is no requirement to demonstrate English language ability. Work, study and business activity is permitted. The length of time required to qualify for permanent residence depends on the amount of investment, as follows:

  • Investment of £2 million – eligibility for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years in the UK
  • Investment of £ 5 million – eligibility for indefinite leave to remain after 3 years in the UK
  • Investment of £ 10 million – eligibility for indefinite leave to remain after 2 years in the UK

 Rules and types of permitted investments

The rules on how the money must be invested are very strict. Evidence needs to be given of sufficient funds held in a bank account (onshore or offshore) for 3 months, prior to the Tier 1 visa being granted. The funds then need to be transferred to a custodian/wealth manager for investment in suitable strategies within 90 days, providing a statement of all transactions.

The funds can only be invested in:

  • UK gilts,
  • UK corporate bonds
  • Loan notes in UK trading companies; and
  • Shares in UK trading companies

Property investments and now cash are excluded.

Minimum age of main applicant – 18 years

The Immigration Rules now permit children aged 18 years to apply under the Tier 1 (Investor) category, provided that their parents support the application and confirm that they are happy with the care arrangements in place. Whilst in the UK with this type of leave, Tier 1 investor children are permitted to study for their A-levels at a private school and can then progress to university. This means that they can use this route to achieve indefinite leave to remain by the time they are 22 years old, assuming they meet the requirements including that regarding residence. This is a simpler route to settlement than that under the Tier 4 student category. Furthermore, subject to meeting the specific residence requirement (see below), such individuals could then potentially be British citizens by the time they are 24 years old.

Residence requirement that must be met in order to qualify for naturalization (British citizenship)

It is very important to note that the residence requirement for becoming a British citizen is very different to that which has to be met when applying for indefinite leave to remain (ie settlement).

Whilst a Tier 1 (investor) migrant can spend up to 180 days out of every 12 month period they live in the UK abroad without jeopardising their eligibility for settlement, when it comes to applying for British citizenship, they must not have spent more than 450 days out of the UK during the 5 year qualifying period, and no more than 90 days during the final 12 months of this.

If you require any further information, please get in contact with our immigration team. At Bloomsbury Law, we provide a bespoke service to advise you on all your immigration needs. For a tailor made service on all immigration matters, call our immigration solicitors at Bloomsbury Law on 0207 998 7777 or contact us via email.

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Buying A Property In The UK

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Buying a property in the UK can be a complex and lengthy process, however, with the right legal advice from Bloomsbury law, our specialist lawyers and trained team members will ensure that the conveyancing process is as straightforward and time-efficient as possible.

Below we explain the basics of a legal process of purchasing the property

(1) After selecting a suitable investment or residential property, it has to be decided whether the property will be registered as single or joint ownership. In the UK, there exists a regulatory requirement of providing ID’s and declaring a source of funding, before any negotiations take place.

(2) Finding a mortgage: when it comes to finding a mortgage there are several options: mortgage brokers, individual banks or searching online.

(3) Once you’ve found the property, you will need to make an offer for it. Usually this will be done through the estate agent. You can do this without already having an agreement in principle in place but having one means the offer is more likely to be accepted and everything going through smoothly. If the seller agrees to the offer then the buying process can go ahead. It’s worth noting that you won’t be obliged to go through with the deal if there’s a problem with the survey or contract.

(4) Once you agree with the purchase you normally have to pay 10% of the property value into the law firm’s Client Account and then the solicitors for the seller and the buyer proceed with the exchange of Contracts, completion of purchase and registration of the property under new proprietor’s name at the UK Land Registry. Most conveyancing processes have a timescale of four to six weeks.

(5) Arrange a survey: A survey assesses the property for any potential problems with the property as this may affect the final price. Your lender will also insist on getting the property valued to check that it’s worth the asking price. There are three types of survey you can chose from:

  • Condition report. The cheapest and most basic survey, it tends to be used on conventional homes or new builds. It doesn’t include a valuation or investigate possible future repairs.
  • Homebuyer report. More expensive and thorough, this examines both the inside and outside of the property and includes additional valuation.
  • Building or structural survey. The most comprehensive option, this is more suited to older or unusual properties like converted barns.

(6) If your solicitor and surveyor are satisfied with all conditions, now is the time to sign the contract and exchange with the seller. At this stage you have to pay a deposit; usually 10% of the total price. Once this happens the buyer and seller are committed to the sale. Pulling out of the deal means you’re likely to lose your deposit.

7) Completion: This is where the property actually becomes yours. Recommended time between exchange and completion is around two weeks, however in some instances it is possible to exchange and complete on the same day. When you get your keys and deeds, you have to pay the following:

  • The remaining cost of the property (usually 90%). This is transferred from your mortgage lender to your legal representative and then to the seller’s representative.
  • Your solicitor or conveyancer’s fees.
  • Stamp duty (a government tax). The payments will be arranged by your solicitor or conveyancer. UK stamp duty is explained below.
  • Any removal costs.

Stamp Duty

The Government changed the rate of stamp duty at the end of 2014.  The flat rate scheme based on house price is no longer applicable. Now stamp duty is charged at different rates depending on how much of the purchase price fits into each price band as explained below:

  • Nothing on the first £125,000 of the property price.
  • Then 2% on anything over £125,000
  • 5 % on anything over £675,000
  • 10% on anything over £575,000
  • 12% on the rest

Buy-to-let landlords were hit with new costs as a controversial extra 3 per cent stamp duty charge was introduced and from April 2106 anyone purchasing an additional property must pay an extra 3 % stamp duty.

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We have a dedicated property team with extensive experience in property law to help guide you through the process. Call one of our dedicated property solicitors now on 0207 998 7777.

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