Tier 1 Investor Visa

Are you planning to invest £1+ million in the United Kingdom? If so you may be able to qualify for a Tier 1 Investor Visa.  At Commonwealth Contractors, our partners can help high net worth individuals secure Tier 1 Investor Visas and make the most of investing funds in the United Kingdom.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 and speak to our specialist advisors or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Tier 1 Investor Visa UK Requirements

This visa is sometimes referred to as an investment visa. UK rules for this visa  stipulate that  there is no requirement to pass an English language test unlike the entrepreneur visa. This is quite an advantage. Also, if investing more than the minimum £1m, it can lead to Permanent Residence within as little as 2 years. For those taking the £1m investment option (which involves a route to Permanent Residence in 5 years), There are 2 main options:

  1. Demonstrate £1,000,000 of your own funds held in a reputable institution and transferable to the UK. In practice it is often best to have the £1m deposited in a UK bank as this removes questions about transferability
  2. Demonstrate that you have £2,000,000 in net assets, and that you have £1,000,000 of borrowed money held in a reputable institution and freely transferable to the UK.

In all cases you will need to demonstrate that you have acquired the funds legally.

What an Investor can do when in the UK & rights of dependents

A Tier 1 (investor) visa will usually be granted for 3 & 4 months years initially if applying from outside the UK, and 3 years if applying from within the UK. After 3 years, if the conditions are met, you may be able to extend for a further 2 years. After a total of 5 years in the UK as an Investor, if you have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days per year, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite leave to Remain (Permanent Residence). Residence can be accelerated for larger investments:

  • 2 years after investing £10m
  • 3 years after investing £5m

An Investor will usually be able to bring a spouse and any dependent children under 18 to the UK as their dependants. Children of over 18 would need to qualify in their own right (eg by being a student), although in exceptional circumstances a human rights act based claim based on the right to a family life may be possible. The children under 18 of an investor, if admitted as dependents, can attend state or private schools in the UK. Investors are not allowed to engage in Employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training, unless they EITHER: obtained a primary degree in medicine or dentistry at • bachelors level or above from a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or which holds a sponsor licence under Tier 4 of the Points Based System; or OR were last granted, entry clearance, leave to • enter or leave to remain that was not subject to any condition restricting them from taking employment as a Doctor in Training, and has been employed during that leave as a Doctor in Training; The spouse of an investor, if admitted as a dependent, can work or engage in any lawful business. For this reason, as the spouse has greater freedom than the investor, many couples consider making the less-active partner the main applicant.

Types of Assets acceptable in proving investable funds

Funds can be either cash or qualifying investments.

  1. Cash held in a bank and freely transferrable to the UK (ideally already in an UK bank).
  2. Shares in quoted companies abroad
  3. Shares, acquired in quoted UK companies during the 12 months prior to applying, (earlier investments could be liquidated and re-made in order to qualify)
  4. UK Government bonds, or loan capital in active and trading UK companies, acquired during the 12 months prior to applying (earlier investments could be liquidated and re-made in order to qualify)

Shares in unquoted companies are not disbarred from consideration as long as they are active and trading UK companies. However, agreeing a valuation for such shares may not be straightforward. Shares in unquoted non-uk companies have the disadvantage that they may be illiquid and therefore not be capable of being turned into cash that could be transferred to the UK.

Investment Visa UK – Proof of funds

Proof of cash holdings can be provided by way of bank statements (covering the 90 days prior to the day of application) or a bank letter confirming balances during the prior 90 days. Proof of investments can be proved in one of three ways

  1. Certified copies of the securities (eg bonds or share certificates), with confirmation of date(s) of purchase, and valuation
  2. Letter from a UK accountant
  3. Portfolio report & valuation from an FSA regulated institution; this should also confirm that where funds are outside the UK, they that the funds could be transferred to the UK

Any cash or investments on which you rely must be held in your own name, or those of your partner (spouse, or de-facto spouse), and you must be the beneficial owner (ie not be acting as a nominee or otherwise holding the investments for a third party). Where funds are not held in sterling, the sterling equivalent will be assessed using the spot exchange rate on the www.OANDA.com website.

Proof of legitimate acquisition (where the money came from)

Prospective investors must prove the provenance of their investable funds (interestingly, this is not a requirement imposed in respect of those investing £200,000 as part of a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa application). The usual options for this proof are:

  • Proof that they money was received as a gift
  • Proof that you received the money for selling something that you owned
  • Proof that you own and control a business that contains shareholders funds which you could withdraw and transfer to the UK
  • Proof that you inherited the money (proved by the will of the person who left the money to you)
  • Proof that you received the money as part of a Divorce settlement
  • Proof that you were awarded the money further to eg litigation
  • Proof that you won the money (eg in a lottery)

If you have money from another source, this need not be a problem, but we would need to detail that source and show its legitimacy. Warning. Due to various information exchange agreements between the UK and other governments, applicants are advised to consider that any details given to the UK authorities in connection with their visa application may be transmitted to, and/or checked with, the government(s) of their home country / country of residence.

Requirements that must be satisfied within 3 months of arrival

Within 3 months (13 weeks) of being granted the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, you must have invested at least £750,000. NB The 3 months begins when the visa is approved, not when you travel to the UK. The investment can be in:

  • Shares in active and trading UK companies (as long as they are not property investment companies)
  • Bonds issued by the UK government
  • Bonds issued by active and trading UK companies (as long as they are not property investment companies)
  • Loans made to active and trading UK companies (as long as they are not property investment companies)

The remaining £250,000 may be invested in:

  • Further Investments (as for the £750,000)
  • Property (including your own home)
  • Cash

Requirements that must be satisfied in order to extend the visa

You must have

  1. £1m at the time of applying to extend
  2. Have invested the £750,000 within 13 weeks of the initial visa being granted
  3.  Prove that you have maintained the £1,000,000 investment throughout the 3 years; this involves a quarterly analysis (ie if your investments declined in value, you ‘topped up’ the balance each quarter so there was still £1m invested)

Documents to support the initial application for the Investor

  1. Passport
  2. Passport photos
  3. Application form & self assessment completion (our OISC registered partners can help with this)
  4. Proof of meeting the Entrepreneur conditions of:

EITHER £1,000,000 of their own funds OR £1,000,000 of borrowed funds plus net assets of £2,000,000

Documents to support initial applications by dependents of the Entrepreneur

  1. Passport
  2. Passport photos
  3. Marriage Certificate (w.r.t. Spouse)
  4. Birth Certificate (w.r.t. Child)
  5. Application (our OISC registered partners can help with this). NB Separate form for each dependent
  6. Proof of co-habitation for unmarried partner

Visa Duration & Indefinite Leave to Remain

Tier 1 Investor Visas applied for from outside the UK are initially approved for a period of 3 years and 4 months, those applied for within the UK are initially approved for a period of 3 years. They may be extended for a further 2 years where required. Time spent on a Tier 1 Investor does count towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residence) in the UK and depending upon your level of investment you may be able to secure ILR after a continuous period of 2, 3 or 5 years. If you spend any more than 180 days outside of the UK in any 12 calendar months it will be considered to be a break and you will need to start your qualifying period for ILR all over again. Qualifying for ILR after 2 years – To qualify you must have:

  • £10+ Million of your own funds under your control in the UK, OR
  • £20+ Million in personal assets AND at least £10 million under your control which has been loaned to you by a regulated financial institution

Qualifying for ILR after 3 years – To qualify you must have:

  • £5+ Million of your own funds under your control in the UK, OR
  • £10+ Million in personal assets AND at least £5 Million under your control which has been loaned to you by a regulated financial institution

Qualifying for ILR after 10 years – To qualify you must have:

  • £1+ Million of your own funds under your control in the UK, OR
  • £2+ Million in personal assets AND at least £1 Million under your control which has been loaned to you by a regulated financial institution

You may be interested in reading about the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa which requires a minimum of £50K to get started.

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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