Tier 1 (Investor) visa is for high net worth individuals seeking to make substantial financial investments in the UK.
Applicants are required to have access to not less than £1 million, either of their own money or loaned to them by a UK regulated financial institution, for the purposes of investment in the UK. The money must be under the applicant’s control and disposable in the UK. If the money is in the form of a loan, the applicant has to demonstrate that their personal assets exceed £2 million.
English language and maintenance
Applicants do not have to meet the English language or maintenance requirements .
Although investors are not required to work, they are permitted to take up employment in the UK.
Duration of leave to remain
For applicants who are outside the UK, leave to enter is granted for three years and four months. If the applicant is in the UK and switching from another immigration category, leave to remain is granted for three years. In both cases there is the option of extension for a further two years.
Requirements for extension of stay
To extend their stay, applicants must demonstrate that they have invested at least £750,000 in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in actively trading UK registered companies other than those principally engaged in property investment. They must show that the remaining balance of £250,000 has been invested in property in the UK or is deposited with a UK bank or authorised institution. Such investments must be made within three months of either the date of entry to the UK; the date entry clearance was granted; or the date of the applicant’s grant of leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Investor).
The changes introduced to the Immigration Rules in April 2011 allow for accelerated settlement for Tier 1 (Investor) migrants. Those investing £10 million or more may apply for settlement after two years; and those investing £5 million or more may apply after three years. Otherwise, Tier 1 (Investor) migrants can apply for settlement (or indefinite leave to remain) after five years of residence.
Time spent outside the UK
The changes also allow for increased absences from the UK when considering applications for settlements. Tier 1 (Investor) migrants may spend up to 180 days a year outside the UK without losing their eligibility for settlement.
Tier 1 (Investors) may bring their dependants to the UK and their leave will be granted in line with the sponsor. Applications are made on a separate application form, but should be submitted at the same time as the Tier 1 (Investor) application and considered together.
General settlement rules regarding good character and knowledge of life in the UK apply.