TIER 1 (Investor)

Tier 1 (Investor) is the category under the Points Based System for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment to settle in the UK.

From 01.09.2015 Overseas Criminal Record Certificate Requirement

Please note: on 06/04/2015 significant changes came into effect for the Tier 1 (Investor) route. The changes are as follows:

  • Applicants must have a UK regulated investment bank account before making their initial application – our business department is able to assist in opening such an account;
  • The minimum age of applicants in this category increased from 16  to 18;
  • Applicants no longer need to invest additional capital if they sell part of their investments at a loss, but they will be required to maintain all their capital within their investment portfolios. Buying and selling investments will continue to be permitted, providing the investor does not withdraw any capital.

From 2011 foreign investors have been given extra incentives to come to the UK. They can settle quicker if they invest large sums of money and will be able to spend longer periods outside the UK without losing their eligibility for settlement.

Initial application

Since 06.11.2014 applicants have been required to score at least 75 points in total to successfully apply for this visa and can claim points in the following way:

  • By providing documentary evidence of having at least £2 million of one’s own money held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK;
  • From 06/04/2015 applicants must have a UK regulated investment bank account before making their initial application – our business department is able to assist in opening such an account;
The applicant must claim 75 points using one of the above-mentioned options to qualify for this visa. There are no English language or maintenance requirements for Investors.

Investments and source of funding

The money should be held in the bank account for 3 months prior to application. If the money has been held in the bank account or portfolio for less than 3 months, then it is necessary to give specified evidence of the source of the money. The source of funding in this case can be one of the following:

  • Gift
  • Sale deed
  • Evidence from a business
  • Will
  • Divorce Settlement
  • Award or winnings
  • Other sources – this is on a case by case basis, specified evidence must be provided, we are able to liaise with the relevant Embassy/Home Office  regarding this.

The minimum investment required is £2 million, which is enough for the initial application, though according to the new rules the qualifying period for settlement depends on the sums invested, so there are 3 categories:

  • £2 million and more
  • £5 million and more
  • £10 million and more

At least £2 million must be invested in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital in active and trading UK registered companies within 3 months of the specified date. If you were granted Entry Clearance as a Tier 1 (Investor) then your specified date is your date of entry to the UK. If you were granted Leave to Remain as a Tier 1 (Investor) then your specified date is the date your leave to remain is granted.    

Money should be disposable in the UK which means that it is held in a UK based financial institution or, if held outside the UK, it must be freely transferable to the UK and convertible to sterling. It can include money belonging to the applicant's spouse, civil partner or unmarried or same-sex partner, provided that specified documents are provided.

From 06/04/2015 applicants will no longer need to invest additional capital if they sell part of their investments at a loss, but they will be required to maintain all their capital within their investment portfolios. Buying and selling investments will continue to be permitted, providing the investor does not withdraw any capital.

Applications will be refused if the British Embassy/Home Office has reasonable grounds that:

  • The applicant is not in control of the funds;
  • The funds were obtained unlawfully;
  • The character, conduct or associations of a party providing the funds mean that approving the application is not conducive to public good.
Dependants

Tier 1 (Investor) migrants will be able to invite their spouse/unmarried partner/civil partner and children under 18 years of age to join them as dependants. The dependants will be given full rights to work in the UK apart from working as a Trainee Doctor/Dentist or professional sportsperson or sports coach.

PBS dependants can now apply from within the UK, as long as they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or temporary release.

Duration of Tier 1 (Investor) and settlement

First time applicants will be given 3 years’ and 4 months’ leave to enter or three years’ leave to remain if they switch from another immigration category.

Qualifying period for settlement (ILR) is:

  • 5 years if £1m invested (only if the application was made prior to 06.11.2014); or
  • 5 years if £2m invested; or
  • 3 years from the point when £5m is invested; or
  • 2 years from the point when £10m is invested.

Therefore those who invest £1m if their initial application was made prior to 06.11.2014, £2m for all other applicants, will require a visa extension for 2 years to enable them to complete five years’ residence in the UK and apply for ILR.

The requirements relating to naturalization applications have not been affected and even if they obtain ILR in two years by investing £10 million in the UK economy they would still be required to wait for another 3 years and comply with the residence requirements in order to apply for naturalization.

Allowable absences

The Tier 1 (Investor) migrants will be allowed to remain outside the UK for maximum 180 days in any calendar year without losing their right to apply for permanent settlement after 2 years (£10 Million investment), 3 years (£ 5 million investment) or 5 years (£1 million investment for applicants whose initial application was made prior to 06.11.2014, £2 million for all other applicants).

Extension Application

The Immigration Rules changed significantly on 06.11.2014 for the Tier 1 (Investor) category. There are now two types of Tier 1 (Investor) visas and their requirements are very different so it is important to know the category under which you fall. The two categories are as follows:

  1. Tier 1 (Investor) – granted initial entry clearance, leave to remain under the rules in place prior to 6 November 2014;
  2. Tier 1 (Investor) - granted initial entry clearance, leave to remain under the rules in place on or after 6 November 2014.

Requirements for an extension application -Tier 1 (Investor) – granted initial entry clearance, leave to remain under the rules in place prior to 6 November 2014

Migrants who have invested the minimum of £1m will require a visa extension for 2 years to enable them to complete five years residence in the UK and apply for ILR.

The applicant has to score 75 points under this section which can be claimed-

- By providing documentary evidence that the applicant has money of his own under his control in the UK amounting to not less than £1 million (Max. 30 Points)

Or

- By providing documentary evidence that the applicant owns personal assets having a value exceeding £2 million and the applicant has money under his control held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to no less than £1 million that has been loaned to him by a financial institution regulated by the FSA (Max. 30 Points)

- By providing documentary evidence that the applicant has invested not less than £750,000 of his capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies other than those principally engaged in property investment (Max. 30 points)

- By providing documentary evidence that the investment has been made within 3 months of obtaining entry clearance/leave to enter/leave to remain and that the investment has been maintained for the whole of the remaining period of that leave (Max. 15 points)

Or

By providing evidence that the applicant has or was last granted entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as an Investor (Max. 15 points)

The applicant can only claim 75 points if he can provide the relevant documentary evidence and claim points in the way mentioned above.

Requirements for an extension application - Tier 1 (Investor) - granted initial entry clearance, leave to remain under the rules in place on or after 6 November 2014.

Migrants who have invested the minimum of £2m will require a visa extension for 2 years to enable them to complete five years residence in the UK and apply for ILR.

The applicant has to score 75 points under this section which can be claimed-

- By providing documentary evidence to show that the applicant has invested not less than £2 million in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies subject. Investment excludes investment by the applicant by the way of companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development.

- By providing documentary evidence to show that the investment was made within 3 months of the applicant’s specified date.

The applicant can only claim 75 points if he can provide the relevant documentary evidence and claim points in the way mentioned above.

From 06/04/2015 applicants will no longer need to invest additional capital if they sell part of their investments at a loss, but they will be required to maintain all their capital within their investment portfolios. Buying and selling investments will continue to be permitted, providing the investor does not withdraw any capital.

Switching Rules

Into Tier 1 (Investor):-

Following persons will be able to switch into Tier 1 (Investor):

  • A highly skilled migrant
  • A Tier 1 (General) migrant
  • A Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant
  • A Tier 1 (Post – Study Work) migrant
  • A Business Person
  • An Innovator
  • A Tier 4 student
  • A student, student nurse, a student re-sitting an examination or a student writing up a thesis
  • A Work Permit holder
  • A writer, composer or artist
  • An Investor

Please note that the rules of switching are very strict and no one else is allowed to switch to Tier 1 (Investor) while remaining in the UK, unless there are exceptionally compassionate circumstances.

Administrative Review (Entry clearance applications only)

If the entry clearance application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer in the British Diplomatic post, the applicant will be given a right of review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of decision. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information and documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to submit any fresh evidence with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to seek professional help when making a review request.

Appeals (In-country Applications only)

Applicants whose Tier 1 applications are refused will be given full rights of appeal, provided they are not left with any leave to remain in the UK at the time of the decision. In these appeals, applicants are no longer allowed to make use of fresh evidence in order to challenge the decision of the Home Office (unless appealing on human rights, asylum or race discrimination grounds) and can only only on the evidence submitted with the application. The applicant will have 10 working days from the date of service of decision to lodge an appeal against that decision.

It is strongly advised to seek professional assistance in lodging an appeal against any decision of Home Office.

What services can we offer?

  • We can advise on the procedure, legal and evidential requirements and merits of making an application to the Home Office or entry clearance post.
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making representations in support of their immigration matters
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependants in order to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant
  • We can offer a Super Premium Service where the Home Office will visit the applicants in order to process the applications within 24 hours.
  • We can lodge an appeal (in-country only) or make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s entry clearance application is refused
  • We can advise in making applications for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) for those who have already completed their relevant residence period in the UK
  • We can assist in choosing the investment programme and investing the required minimum funds via the UK banks or UK investment companies
  • We can assist in opening a bank account.
  • We can advise on current tax legislation, prepare and submit annual tax returns.
  • We can provide an incorporation of a UK company and annual support service, assistance with company assets management by means of registration of trusts and offshore companies, accounting and legal services for UK companies.
  • We can offer a personal and business insurance.
  • We can offer a concierge service for your move to the UK.
  • We can provide you with a property search and school enrolment for your children in the UK

Whatever the case, we are here to help, assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of their immigration matters.

 

 

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