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.