The UK has a five-tier points system that allows citizens outside the European Economic Area to immigrate to the UK and work and conduct business within its political borders. The system is aimed at business owners, investors, and others, and is divided into multiple sub-categories based on the amount of investment you can get. The Tier 1 investor visa is designed for high-net-worth individuals who wish to temporarily move to the UK to start a business.
This article gives you a deeper understanding of the Tier 1 investor visa application process.
Are you eligible to apply for a Tier 1 investor visa?
Business owners with higher investment balances are more willing to apply for investor visas because their eligibility criteria are less stringent than employer visas, which also allow business owners to establish and manage businesses in the UK. This difference in strictness is the result of different financial thresholds. Applicants applying for the Investor Visa Program must be able to obtain at least £1,000,000 in available funds to invest in the UK. The investment must be government bonds and equity.
There is a requirement that one can borrow 1,000,000 pounds of investment funds from a third party. However, in this case, the applicant must also have personal assets of £2,000,000. Funds must be deposited in regulated financial institutions. Under the points-based system, meeting any of these criteria will earn you 75 points and qualify you for this visa program.
The requirement to prove English language proficiency is waived. Since the program is reserved for high-net-worth individuals, they do not need to meet maintainability standards. Your ability to provide £1,000,000 for investment purposes indirectly indicates your ability to support yourself during your stay in the UK. Only people living outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland can apply for a UK visa.
In addition, you must be at least 16 years old to apply for an investor visa.
Application and processing time
You must apply for a Tier 1 investor visa 3 months before the travel date. You will receive a notice of approval or rejection within 3 weeks after the application is submitted.
If your visa application is accepted, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for 3 years and 4 months. The visa program covers the applicant and his family, namely his spouse and children under 18 years of age. It allows applicants and their families to work, study or conduct business in the UK.
After a few years, you can apply for permanent settlement. The time you can apply for citizenship depends on the amount of your investment.
- If you invest £1 million, you can apply for a settlement after 5 years.
- If you invest £5 million, you can apply for a settlement after 3 years.
- If you invest 10 million pounds, you can apply for a settlement after 2 years.
- After the visa expires, it can be extended for another 2 years.