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Tier 1 – Investors

Introduction

Individuals who have substantial funds to invest in the UK and who genuinely wish to settle in the UK and make it their home may be granted entry clearance to enter the UK as investors.

 

The Rules

To qualify as an investor, an applicant must demonstrate that:

  • they have money of their own which is under their own control and is disposable in the UK amounting to no less then £1 million; or
  • they must have a personal net worth of no less than £2 million if they intend to use a loan to finance the UK investment, (only loans from financial institutions regulated by the Financial Services Authority are acceptable);
  • they intend to invest not less than £750,000 of their capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies (excluding those principally engaged in property investment and investment through deposits with the bank, building society or other enterprise whose normal business includes acceptance of deposits);
  • they intend to make the UK their main home;
  • they are able to maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants without taking employment (other than self-employment or business) and without recourse to public funds; and
  • they hold a valid UK entry clearance for entering the UK in this capacity.

The Applicant must be able to demonstrate that they can transfer and dispose of their money freely. With the exception of funds jointly held by an applicant and spouse (both must have unrestricted rights of transfer and disposal), no other person should have a controlling interest in the money.

Disposable in the UK means that all the capital required to qualify must be freely transferable to the UK and convertible to sterling. Specific evidence of this, such as a letter from the bank or authorities concerned, will be required.

‘A sum of not less £1 million’ may include investments as well as convertible currency. Any major assets in the UK, such as unmortgaged property, may also be taken into account provided that they do not make up more than £250,000 of the total sum. Personal effects eg jewellery, paintings and antique furniture cannot count as assets unless it is clear that such items are held purely for investment purposes. In such instances, the applicant will be expected to produce satisfactory evidence of the real value of such items (insurance valuations will not be regarded as acceptable).

 

Procedure

Entry to the UK in this category is initially granted for a 3 year period. It is possible to subsequently apply to extend leave in this category for a further 2 years by application to the Home Office. Once the applicant has spent a continuous five year period in the UK in this capacity, they may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK provided that they have continued to meet the investor requirements, satisfy minimum residence requirements, and have successfully completed the Life in the UK Test.

There are accelerated routes to settlement for applicants wishing to invest £10 million (2 years) or £5 million (3 years).

Investor applications are prioritised by the UK Border Agency.

For further information on how we can assist you, please contact us on 0207 3927672 or e-mail us atinfo@novellslegals.com.