This article has been written to explain some crucial Tier 1 Investor visa guidance points and also to discuss what you can do if your Tier 1 Investor Visa extension application is rejected by the UK Home Office.
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Tier 1 Investor Visa Guidance
The Tier 1 Investor visa is for high net worth persons who have a minimum of £2 million to invest in UK registered companies by way of share or loan capital. The visa is granted initially for three years and four months if coming from abroad and can be extended for a further two years before an application is made for settlement, otherwise known as “permanent residence” or “indefinite leave to remain“. There is no need to satisfy the English language test as an investor or show you have sufficient maintenance funds.
Getting Permanent Residence Earlier?
If you have invested £10 million, you could obtain permanent residence after two years. If your investment has been £5 million, you can obtain permanent residence after three years.
Tier 1 Investor Visa – Scrutiny of Funds by the Home Office
The Home Office does scrutinise the source of funds that could even be gifted to you, but you must prove that the money belongs to you or, if married, to your spouse or unmarried or same-sex partner.
Furthermore, suppose you are the investor applicant. In that case, you need to have opened an account at the UK regulated bank to use for your funds, which must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions, and be freely disposable in the UK without exchange control regulations. The money can be in the UK or overseas when you apply, but there is a requirement that the investment should be made within three months of the grant of the visa. A student here on a Tier 4 visa can apply to switch to the Tier 1 Investor visa.
If the funds have been held for less than two years, then you will need to prove the source of the funds, and in every case, the Home Office must be satisfied as to that source, to ensure that the funds are clean and there has been no money laundering in providing those funds.
If the application for the investor visa is made from abroad and you are an adult, you need to show that you have a clean overseas criminal record certificate for every country you have lived in for at least 12 months in the last ten years.
Depleted Funds, Insolvency and Extenuating Circumstances
What to do if your funds have been depleted, or the company in which you invested has become insolvent and no longer can operate?
If during the course of your initial leave to remain on the Tier 1 Investor visa, you need to withdraw funds that have been invested in your financial portfolio; then you need to top up as soon as possible so that the investment remains at its original level otherwise you would be refused an extension when the time is right for the extension application.
Likewise, if your investment has been lost due to the company in which the investment has been made becoming insolvent, your extension visa will not be granted.
However, in both the above scenarios, if there are other attributes that the investor has, it is possible to obtain leave to remain on human rights grounds either at the extension application stage or at the appeal stage by the grant of leave to remain under the 10-year route.
Situations such as the following could give rise to a successful article 8 human rights claim as to private and or family life.
When bringing this to the attention of the Home Office, one must be able to demonstrate: the shock and effect of the financial loss on the investor, medical reports such as psychological assessments on the mental health of the investor; the steps taken by the investor to attempt to recover their loss, cooperating with the administrator appointed to sort out the affairs of the company, still maintaining children in private school despite the loss; using initiative and working as self-employed in the field of arts and designs, having a property portfolio despite the loss and showing that the investor with their tenacity is good for Britain and good for British business.
Tier 1 Investor Extension Emergencies
Let’s say you have invested £2 million in the UK, but your Tier 1 Investor visa extension has been rejected. The UK Home Office is now refusing to extend Tier 1 Investor Visas for applicants who are unable to show that their investment funds were obtained legally, or there is another issue with your application. This means that you will eventually be deported from the UK, normally within three months. If this is the case, do not hesitate to contact our immigration lawyers, who will be able to provide you with clarity on your situation and fight on your behalf to make sure that does not happen.
How Can We Help?
Our team of immigration solicitors have decades of experience helping investors settle in the UK by providing them with a top-level service geared towards successful results. We will handle your whole Tier 1 Investor visa application, so you do not need to worry about a thing. When the time is right, we will also take care of your extension and make sure your application is processed without a hitch. If any problems arise during your initial period of “leave to remain” in the UK, we will mitigate them and provide you with clarity on your case, situation and what needs to be done.
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Armen Andonian is the CEO of Solicitors Marketing, a London-based legal marketing agency. He is a legal content marketing expert who writes on UK individual immigration, business immigration, family law, finance, employment law and intellectual property. He has a passion for researching and communicating complex legal concepts and ideas in a clear and engaging manner and has developed a reputation as a highly skilled and versatile author on UK law-related issues. He has written for numerous publications, both online and offline, and his work has been featured in a variety of high-profile media outlets.