Benefits (Investor Visa)
Tier 1 Investor Visa is specifically designed for wealthy foreign nationals who wish to relocate to the UK and invest a minimum of £1,000,000 in the UK economy. Successful applicants are granted 3 years stay in the UK with the possibility of an extension of a further 2 years if all essential requirements are met. Investor Visa applicants can manage their investments but are prohibited from working in the UK. However, their spouse who is also granted entry into the UK on this visa is eligible for employment during their stay. Due to this, many applicants of the Investor Visa make the less active partner the main applicant. Investor Visa applicants are permitted to be accompanied by their spouse and children who can take advantage of the same benefits as UK citizens.
The Tier 1 Investor visa is quite different from other tier 1 visas as it does not require the applicant to have a sponsorship certificate from a licensed sponsor to gain entry clearance. Individuals can apply for the UK investor visa if they are non EEA and Swiss nationals.
The following enables applicants to qualify for this visa:
- Applicants must have at least £1,000,000 which should be held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the United Kingdom
- Applicant own personal assets worth £2,000,000 in value after liabilities.
- Applicants who are in the UK and wish to make an initial application for the investor category.
- Applicants who are already in the UK under the former investor category and wish to extend their stay within the new tier 1 investor category.
- Applicants who are already in the UK under the tier 1 investor category and who wish to extend their stay in the existing category.
- Applicants applying from outside the UK for entry clearance on the investor category.
Investor Visa Extension
Successful applicants are initially permitted to stay for a period of 3 years which they can extend by a further 2 years so that they have sufficient time to study the market and invest in the most appropriate business. Applicants applying for an extension are assessed on a points based system. They must fulfill one of the following criteria:
30 points are awarded if the applicant has a minimum of £1 million of their own money that is disposable in the UK.
30 points are awarded if the applicant has personal assets to the value of at least £2 million without any liabilities.
If the applicant has a loan of £1 million minimum under their control, it must be taken out with an FSA regulated loan provider.
Applicants must fulfill all of the below criteria for Investor visa extension:
Applicants must invest a minimum of £750,000 through UK government bonds, share capital or investment capital in active UK companies. The companies should not be involved in property investment nor is depositing money in a bank or building society considered an investment.
The investment must have been made within 3 months of obtaining the investor visa and must be maintained throughout the duration of the visa.
Switching to Investor Visa
Essential Requirements for obtaining Investor Visa or for Switching to Investor Visa
Investor visa applicants are exempt from many essential requirements that must be fulfilled in other visa categories. This visa is designed only for investment purposes in the UK so applicants are not required to be involved in any work. Therefore, applicants do not need to meet the English proficiency or financial self sufficiency requirements. Nor are they required to have a sponsor prior to coming to the UK.
Like other tier 1 visas, Investor visa applicants also need to obtain a minimum of 75 points in the points based system assessment. Whether an applicant is making an initial application or they are switching to the Investor visa from another visa category, they can obtain the 75 points by fulfilling one of the following criteria:
If they have £1 million of their own money that is held in a regulated UK financial institution and disposable to the UK.
If they have personal asset worth £2 million that is without any liabilities.
If they have at least £1 million under their control that is held in a regulated UK financial institution. This can also be a loan amount taken from an institution regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
On fulfillment of the criteria, candidates from tier 1, tier 2 or tier 4 visas can switch to an Investor visa. However, candidates currently on a tier 3, tier 5 or Working Holiday visa are not eligible to switch to this visa category.
Investor Visa applicants are exempt from several essential requirements that other Tier 1 Visa category holders must comply with. They are also entitled to the following benefits:
- Free education
- Free healthcare
- Work opportunities
- Possessing an Investor Visa is considered a status symbol
- Exemption from certain prerequisites such as English proficiency, minimum age and education requirements
- Proof of personal income tax is not required
- The main applicant can be either the husband or wife and they can be accompanied by their children under the age of 18 years. If their child is above the age of 18, the applicant will need to transfer their assets to their child’s name and appoint the child as the main applicant. If the child intends to study in the UK, the parents can apply for the Investor Visa as the child can obtain immigration status as a student.
- The main applicant is required to live in their UK home for a minimum of 183 days
- The processing time for an Investor Visa is less in comparison to other visas. Investor Visas usually take between 3 to 5 months to process.