One of the best options for wealthy individuals to qualify for leave to remain in the UK is the Tier 1 Investor category.

The investor category is designed to allow wealthy individuals who make a substantial financial investment in the UK to obtain permission from the UK to enter as an investor under the Tier 1 category.

You must

  • Have funds amounting to at least £2 million belonging to yourself, your partner or the two of you jointly;
  • The money is held in a regulated financial institution;
  • The money is freely transferable to the UK and able to be converted to pounds sterling;
  • Have opened a bank account with a UK regulated bank for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million in the UK.
  • Have held your investment funds for at least 2 years prior to the date of application. If you have held it for less than 2 years, the investment funds must have been lawfully received by way of a gift, inheritance, financial award or winnings, proceeds of a divorce settlement, sale of an asset or any other source that can be documents and independently corroborated.

Unlike other Tier 1 routes, you are not required to show business experience or the ability to speak English.

You are permitted to be gainfully employed under this visa or undertake a course of study in the UK.

If successful, you will be granted leave to remain for 40 months. Within three months of entry into the UK, you are required to make the investment of £2 million in either British corporate bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies, which must be maintained throughout the period of leave. It is important to note that investment is not permitted in companies primarily involved in property investment, management or development or offshore companies.

At the expiry of the initial 40-month period, you must apply for an ‘extension of stay’ which will be valid for two years.

At the end of 5 years, you can apply for settlement or indefinite leave to remain in the UK. It is possible to apply for settlement earlier if more funds are invested. An investment of £10 million or more will provide for settlement after two years, and an investment of £5 million or more will provide for settlement after three years. It is important to know that only the main applicant will have their route to permanent residence fast-tracked through a higher level of investment; their family members can only apply for settlement after living in the UK for five years.