TIER 1 INVESTOR
Tier 1 (Investor) is the visa category for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment to settle in the UK. If you are a non EU national and have over £2m of your own money to invest in the UK, you may qualify for residency as a Tier 1 (Investor).
You will require to demonstrate that you have funds amounting to at least £2m which is your own money or that of your spouse, including that held jointly. The funds must be held in a regulated financial institution such as a bank, building society, or asset management firm. The funds must be disposable in the UK.
INVESTMENTS AND SOURCE OF FUNDING
The funds should be held for a period of 90 days prior to the date of application. If held for less than the 90 days you will be required to show the source of the funds and that you are free to invest them in the UK.
THE INVESTMENT PERIOD
At least £2m must be invested in the UK by way of government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies within 3 months of the specified date which is the date of entry to the UK using the Tier 1 visa. You must maintain at least £2m under your control in one of the permitted investment routes in the UK.
THE ACTUAL INVESTMENT
You must maintain the investment of at least £2m of your own money in the UK by way of government bonds, share or loan capital in active and trading UK Registered companies. You cannot invest in off shore companies, investment companies nor companies who are principally concerned with property investment, management or development.
Tier 1 (Investor) migrants will be able to invite their spouse/unmarried partner/civil partner and children under 18 years of age to join them as dependants. The dependants will be given full rights to work in the UK apart from working as a trainee doctor/dentist or professional sportsperson or sports coach.
The Tier 1 (Investor) migrants are allowed to remain outside the UK for maximum of six months (180 days) in any calendar year without losing their right to apply for permanent settlement after two years (£10m investment), three years (£5m investment) or five years (£1m investment for applicants whose initial application was made prior to November 2014, £2m for all other applicants).
If you have maintained the level of investment at £2m, then you can qualify for settlement (permanent residence) in the UK within five years. You can achieve settlement earlier but this is dependent upon the level of your investment. You can qualify for accelerated settlement if you have invested £5m over a period of three years and in two years for an investment of £10m.
Although exempt from the English language requirement to gain initial entry and extensions, you will need to show sufficient knowledge of English language and life in the UK by way of the appropriate test, in order to gain permanent residency.
For investors maintaining a level of funds at £10m, although permanent residency is achievable after two years, for naturalisation purposes in terms of the British Nationality Act 1981, a further period of three years is required to satisfy residency conditions for naturalisation.
The Immigration Rules changed significantly in November 2014 for the Tier 1 (Investor) category. It is important to understand the requirements depending when your initial visa was granted.