Immigration – Tier 1 (Investor) Visa

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 purpose 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. However, 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.

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

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.

How can Setfords help you with your Tier 1 (Investor) visa application?

For further information, please get in touch below.

Discuss your Tier 1 (Investor) visa application with our Immigration Experts now

Nicola Anne Wilkins

Senior Consultant Solicitor – UK Immigration Law


Direct dial: 020 8103 2006
Head office: 0330 058 4012 then dial ext 2752
Email: nwilkins@setfords.co.uk
Form: Complete form now
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