The Tier 1 Investor Visa
The Tier 1 Investor Visa is a method for high net worth individuals who wish to make the UK their main home as a result of that investment and live here permanently
Main Requirements for Tier 1 Investor Visa
- Under this category, it is not necessary to show that the Visa applicant has any English language ability. All that is required is that the appropriate investment is in place. The applicant does not need to work or do anything else, but he/ she can, of course, work in his/ her own business.
- Furthermore, the applicant will not need to show any maintenance of funds available as required for other category visas to support him/herself and any family members in the UK.
- The applicant must be at least 18 years of age, and the assets and investments must be wholly under his/ her control to gain the appropriate points.
- Depending on the applicant’s nationality/ he/she may have to register with the police.
- The applicant will not usually be able to take employment as a doctor or dentist in training, but the applicant’s dependants may be able to join him/ her.
- If the applicant does not have his/ her own funds to invest, third-party funds are permissible but must not have been acquired by means of conduct which is unlawful in the UK.
- There will be some investigation therefore in relation to the third party providing any funds for the applicant’s investment.
Initial Application for Tier 1 Investor Visa
In order to qualify for an initial grant of permission in this category the applicant must have money of his/ her own under such control, held in a regulated financial institution such as a bank, building society, and which is freely transferable in the UK without foreign government regulations, amounting to not less than £2 million.
The applicant must also have opened an account with a UK regulated bank for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million in the UK. The UK regulated bank can be abroad as a branch, and investment can be made in that bank within three months of the initial application, and the applicant will need to obtain an entry clearance i.e. a Visa from the British Embassy abroad and will show the funds available to be transferred to the UK branch when he/she has arrived.
Extension Applications for Tier 1 Investor Visa — made before 6 November 2014
- If the applicant was granted initial Tier 1 investor entry clearance in place before 6 November 2014, then to extend permission to stay in the UK, that person must have money of his/ her own under control, in the UK amounting to not less than £1 million; or
- Have personal assets which taking into account any liabilities to which they are subject have a value of not less than £2 million, and £1 million referred to above could have been loaned to the applicant by a UK regulated financial institution.
- The applicant would also have had to invest not less than £750,000 of his capital in the UK for example from that £1 million, by way of UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active in trading UK registered companies which could be the applicant’s own company where he/ she may or may not wish to work in), other than those principally engaged in property investment, and the remaining balance of the £1 million, for example, could be invested in the UK by the purchase of assets or by maintaining the money on deposit in the UK regulated financial institution
- the applicant would have had to make the investment referred to above within three months of entry into the UK if are he/ she was granted entry clearance as a Tier 1 Investor and the date should be evident to establish when that person arrived in the UK.
Initial leave granted after 6 November 2014
If the applicant was granted initial Tier 1 investor Visa, leave to enter or leave to remain under the immigration rules in place on or after 6 November 2014, to extend such leave as a Tier 1 investor the applicant must have invested not less than £2 million in the UK by way of UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active in trading UK registered companies.
This investment must have been made: –
- Within three months of entry to the UK as above, or
- Within three months of the date of the grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor unless there are exceptional compelling reasons for the delay in investing or
- Where the investment was made prior to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 investor not more than 12 months prior to the date of the application which led to the first grant of leave as a Tier 1 investor, and in each case the level of investment must have been maintained for the whole of the remaining period of that leave.
- If there is a delay in making the investment the reasons must be unforeseeable and outside of the applicant’s control. Any delay caused by the failure to take in time action will not be acceptable.
Is there a right of appeal if the application for Tier 1 Investor Visa is refused
There is no appeal against the refusal of leave to enter or remain as a Tier 1 investor. There is only an administrative review of the decision if the applicant considers it was made in error when considering the application. Also the applicant may rely on funds that are owned either jointly or solely by the applicant’s husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner. However, the applicant must have unrestricted right to transfer and dispose of the money and he she must provide evidence of the relationship and the permission to use the joint funds or otherwise for the purpose of the investment.
Bank account requirements For Tier 1 Investor Visa Application
- The applicant must have opened an account with the UK regulated bank for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million in the UK if applying for Tier 1 Investor Visa. Furthermore the applicant must provide an original letter issued by an authorised official of a UK regulated bank on the headed notepaper which would confirm the monies available and which should be dated within three months immediately before the date of the application, state the applicant’s name and account number and confirm that:-the applicant has opened an account with the bank for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million in the UK and that the bank is regulated by the financial conduct authority (FCA) .
- With respect to extension applications, if the applicant was granted an initial Tier 1 Investor Visa, leave to enter or leave to remain under the rules in place on or after 6th November 2014, then the applicant must show that the whole of the sum of at least £2 million has been invested in the UK by way of government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active in trading UK registered companies
- Insofar as the investment is concerned, money can be provided by way of gift, the sale of a property, evidence from the sale of a business, probate after a will has been proved, divorce settlement, or award or winnings.
The level of investment must have been maintained
The level of investment must have been maintained throughout the whole period that the applicant has had the visa under this category. Therefore, if funds had been withdrawn from the portfolio for whatever reason, they must be more or less immediately replaced and if that is not possible then good reasons will have to be given in that regard, for example, there were funds available abroad which could not be transferred immediately to make up the shortfall and reasons given in that regard. Obviously, a series of investment portfolio reports produced by the UK regulated financial institution would have to be provided to show the level of investment for extension applications. There is also the provision that if there has been an increased investment between £5 million-£10 million then this would accelerate settlement under this category.