This is the so-called Tier 1 Visa. A UK visa program that allows wealthy investors to fast-track their settlement in the country. The program was introduced in 2008 to attract wealthy foreign nationals willing to invest large amounts of capital in Britain. As a result, billions of pounds have poured into the UK over the past decade, following an influx of thousands of global elites who have benefited from the program.
So far, more than 1,000 investment visas were granted in the 12-month period ending in September 2018 alone.
According to OECD research, the UK is one of the best places to live in the world; personal security, job satisfaction and earnings are all areas in which the UK ranks above average among 35 nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In many of the criteria set by the OECD, the UK is above the US, Germany, France and Ireland, which are listed as average in the Better Life Index.
London also leads the way in luxury living. The finest restaurants, clubs and shopping can be found here.
The UK is equipped with first-class infrastructure, communications and commercial systems.
There is a transparent and sound legal and regulatory regime backed by a stable political system.
The United Kingdom’s economy is huge. In fact, it’s the sixth largest in the world and it has enjoyed steady economic growth until the current world economic downturn. In essence though, businesses are still growing and people are finding work.
With some of the best schools and universities in the world, including Eton, Harrow, Cambridge and Oxford, the UK is highly regarded for education.
Not every country in the world has a solid health care system. In fact, very few have a National Health Service like the UK’s. If you are a legal resident in the UK you will have access to free health care.
There are few places with such a rich culture as the UK. With its ethnic mix of population and a long and interesting history it is a fascinating place to explore.
The UK is geographically well-placed. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place than the UK for taking short trips overseas and to other countries. You can reach many European destinations in just a few hours from London, which makes it a great travel hub.
In recent survey London came top in the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index. The UK’s capital extends its lead to 24 points over New York, despite concerns about the UK’s future within the European Union.
Whilst all other top European cities are subject to rising taxes, fears of tighter regulation and public hostility towards wealthy people, the UK has outwardly emphasised its commitment to being a welcoming environment for investors from around the world. This trend is set to continue especially after the UK leaves the European Union.
- you want to invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK
- you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
Spouse and dependent children up to 18 years are included in the application.
Once applied for, a decision on your visa will be given within three weeks.
Yes, but you can spend time abroad however you must not be absent more than a few months every year.
You can remain in the UK with a Tier 1 (Investor) visa for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months.
At the end of that period you can apply to extend this visa for another 2 years. By the end of the two years, you may apply for a permanent residency.
Please note, you have a possibility to:
- apply to settle after 2 years if you invest £10 million
- apply to settle after 3 years if you invest £5 million
You can work or study in the UK
- get public funds
- work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
- work as a doctor or dentist in training unless one of the following applies:
- you have a primary degree at bachelors’ level or above in medicine or dentistry from a UK institution that holds a Tier 4 sponsor licence or is a UK recognised or listed body
- you worked as a doctor or dentist in training the last time you were in the UK
- neither of those conditions were part of the terms and conditions on a previous visa
Your funds will be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and will be invested in share capital or loan capital in active and/or in trading UK registered companies. Every quarter your financial institution will provide the UK Home Office with a detailed report about your investment.
Please be aware that you cannot invest in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development.
Before you apply, you will need to open a UK bank account. This can be arranged from outside the UK.
In respect of the bank account you will need to provide initially:
- completed application forms
- a copy of your passport
- a utility bill
- a summary of how you came to obtain sufficient funds to invest £2m GBP
Upon applying for the visa you’ll need to provide the following:
- a current passport or other valid travel identification
- your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test (e.g., Russia and ex-Soviet Union countries)
- a criminal record certificate from any country you have stayed in for a total of 12 months or more over the last 10 years
- a declaration about the sources of the funds you intend to invest in the UK
- You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English
- You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.
The sooner the better.
There are rumours that the Tier 1 Visa scheme will be suspended in the foreseeable future. However, the current position is that the scheme will remain but requirements will be toughened.
In any event, if you wish to come to the UK who have not yet submitted an application under the scheme, you may wish to do so now before any suspension is, in fact, introduced, or changes are made to the existing applications procedure.
Additionally, the UK departure from the European Union is causing a temporary depreciation of the British pound and a fall in UK property prices. This makes the UK very affordable for wealthy investors.