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What is a Tier 1 (Investor) visa?

The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment of at least £2 million in the UK and is the quickest way to get settlement in the UK.

You can apply for settlement once you have reached 5 years’ continuous leave in the UK. However, an accelerated path towards settlement is available for those investing more in the UK.

The qualifying period for settlement depends on the amount invested:

  • £10 million allows you to apply for settlement in 2 years
  • £5 million allows you to apply for settlement in 3 years
  • £2 million allows you to apply for settlement in 5 years

What criteria must I meet to be eligible for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa?

The general eligibility criteria are straightforward. You must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have money under your control held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to not less than £2 million
  • Be able to prove that the money belongs to either you or your husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner
  • Have held the £2 million in funds for a consecutive 2-year period of time or alternatively, provide evidence of the source of the funds
  • Have opened an account with a UK regulated bank for the purposes of investing not less than £2 million in the UK

Your funds can be in the UK or overseas when you apply.

How long will my Tier 1 (Investor) visa application take?

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa has the shortest investor immigration application processing time.

Typically, a decision is made within 3 weeks. The UK government provides a guide to processing times to identify how long it takes to get a visa in your country.

There are also priority processing options available in different countries which facilitate a decision within 5 working days.

How long is a Tier 1 (Investor) visa valid for?

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is initially granted for a period of 3 years and 4 months. You can apply for a 2 year extension subject to meeting the below extension requirements.

Tier 1 (Investor) visa – Extension

You can extend your Tier 1 (Investor) visa for a further 2 years subject to meeting each of the following requirements:

  • Within 3 months of your entry to the UK you invested not less than £2 million in the UK by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. Where the initial grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Investor) was granted before 29 March 2019, investment can also have been made in the UK by way of UK Government bonds
  • The £2 million investment has been maintained for the whole of the remaining period of leave

If you were granted Tier 1 (Investor) entry clearance or leave to remain before 6 November 2014 on the basis of £1 million investment, you must extend before 6 April 2020 in order to avoid having to top up your investment to £2 million.

Tier 1 (Investor) visa – Settlement

You can apply for settlement after 2, 3 or 5 years subject to meeting all of the following requirements:

  • Within 3 months of your entry to the UK you invested at least £2 million in the UK by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. Where the initial grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Investor) was granted before 29 March 2019, investment can also have been made in the UK by way of UK Government bonds
  • At least the £2 million investment has been maintained for the whole of the remaining period of your leave
  • You have absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during the specified continuous period. The specified continuous period is:
    • 2 years if you invested £10 million
    • 3 years if you invested £5 million
    • 5 years if you invested £2 million

You can apply for settlement up to 28 days before you will reach the qualifying 2, 3 or 5 year period.

You cannot combine Tier 1 (Investor) leave with leave in any other category to meet the continuous leave requirement.

If you were granted Tier 1 (Investor) entry clearance or leave to remain before 6 November 2014 on the basis of £1 million investment, you must apply to settle before 6 April 2022 in order to avoid only time being spent with the investment at £2 million being able to be counted towards settlement.

Why use Setfords for Tier 1 (Investor) matters?

  • Expert legal advice specific to your matter
  • Excellent technical knowledge of all aspects of Tier 1 (Investor) applications based on £2, £5 and £10 million investment
  • Cost effective service with upfront fixed fees, so that clients know what to expect
  • Being able to contact your lawyer out of office hours
  • Unwavering commitment to delivering excellent client care
  • Meticulous preparation of all paperwork and supporting documentation to expedite the process

We are happy to answer your enquiry by email or on the telephone and can do so outside office hours if you prefer. To receive more information, please complete the form below or call our enquiries team on 0330 058 4011.

Lawyer spotlight: Nicola Anne Wilkins

Consultant Solicitor - Business and Personal UK Immigration Law

Quotes from previous clients

“Extremely professional and discreet individual. Very pleased with her work and would certainly highly recommend Nicola's services to anyone”.

“Nicola has great strengths in handling clients and in communicating to clients in a practical and understandable manner that delivers business driven solutions. She has an outstanding ability to deliver legal advice that is moreover practical and deliverable for clients, which is a key advantage when working with her as a client. Nicola demonstrates a can-do attitude to all matters that come her way and performs tasks to a very high standard against strict deadlines. Not only is she an extremely capable individual, but she is also very hardworking with outstanding interpersonal skills and builds client rapport with ease. I would thoroughly recommend Nicola to any business or individual looking for legal advice”.

To receive more information, please complete the form below or telephone Nicola on direct line 020 8103 2006.

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