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Tier 1 Investor Visa

The purpose of the Tier 1 Investor Visa is to bring high net worth individuals to the UK in order to make financial investments in active and trading businesses. There are no requirements to meet the English language because this is not an employment based visa. Further to this, it is not expected for them to show and meet the financial adequacy test, known as maintenance requirements.

The concept of the Tier 1 Investor Visa is there to attract the wealthy and require the investment of more than £2 million pounds in the UK. If you intend to invest £5 million pounds or £10 million pounds, you would be able to secure settlement under the acceleration route, subject to meeting the requirements. 

The Tier 1 Investor Visa continues to go through a number of key changes, to ensure that the source of funds is checked prior those being invested in the UK. It is also designed to prevent abuse of the immigration system and ensure that individuals bringing funds are able to prove the source of those substantial funding. 

Once you have spent a period of 5 years under the Tier 1 Investor Visa, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain, also referred as settlement and must meet the published policy at the date of application. 

The Investment into the Tier 1 Investor Visa

When applying for the Tier 1 Investor Visa, you will need to meet some strict policies as outlined by the immigration rules. Importantly, when showing the funds of more than £2 million, you must have evidence to show the funds have been held for more than 2 years. 

If the funds have been held for less than 2 years, evidences of the source of the funds must be provided. For example, a deed of sale or a divorce settlement. The list is not exhaustive but the source of funds must be clarified with evidences.  

The Home Office must be satisfied that the funds are in your control and that the money can be transferred freely to the UK for the purposes of investment. If the funds have been acquired through a permissible third party, the Home Office must be satisfied that the funds have been transferred in accordance to the State law and the conduct of the funds transfer was lawfully completed.

Where the funds belong to a third party, the Home Office will need to be satisfied that the personal character, conduct or association of that person does not raise suspicion. 

The second part to the requirements is to have a UK bank account and have the ability to transfer the funds into the account for the purposes of the investment. The UK regulated bank must be FCA regulated financial institutions. If you decide to open an account with a FCA regulated investment firm, this may also meet the requirements but specified evidences are required to support the application. 

As part of the application, you would be required to show you are a person of good character and do not have any criminal or civil convictions which can fall for refusal under the general grounds of refusal. The initial period of leave is granted for 2 years. 

If you would like us to help in choosing the most appropriate investment firms or intend to apply for the Tier 1 Investor Visa, you can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or email us your enquiry to info@icslegal.com

ICS Legal has a dedicated specialist team dealing with investments and support for the high net worth individuals. You can take confidence that your information, as with all our clients, are protected and are not shared with anyone including any third parties.  

Cancellation of the Tier 1 Investor Visa

The cancellation of your visa may happen depending on the reasons to the breach of your conditions of stay in the UK. For example, if your source of funding is not verified or there are issues raised after the visa is granted, this can lead to an investigation and ICS Legal will advise on this investigation, as well respond to the allegations raised. 

We advise that once you receive the letter from the Home Office, please email us a copy to info@icslegal.com with your full contact details, so we can see the reasons to the curtailment of your Tier 1 Investor Visa.

There are legal remedies available such as bringing in a judicial review application in challenge.    

Tier 1 Investor Visa refusal

There are a number of reasons why an application for the Tier 1 Investor Visa can be refused. The Home Office decision letter will explain fully to the grounds of refusal and will set out how you can appeal against the decision. 

Where your application for the Tier 1 Investor Visa is refused, this can be challenged through by way of an administrative review. This will allow you a period of 14 days or 28 days, depending on the country of location. 

You will need to email us a copy of the decision letter to info@icslegal.com, so we can discuss your options if your Tier 1 Investor Visa is refused. 

Extending your Tier 1 Investor Visa

Where you have decided to extend your Tier 1 Investor Visa, you will need to meet certain requirements.

Those who have applied for leave to enter or remain prior to the changes implemented in 6th of November 2014, will need to show you have held £1Million of funding and £750,000 of those funds have been invested in qualifying investments. The qualifying investments include but not limited to UK government bonds and share/loan capital to active & trading businesses in the UK. 

You will need to have invested the funds within 3 months of entering the UK. As part of the application, you will need to provide evidences related to the investment such as UK government bonds, share or loan capital in active & trading companies in the UK. 

Where the market value of your investments falls below the minimum £750,000, this would need to be corrected before the end of the next reporting period or within 6 months of the date of completion of the sale. 

In terms of the investment, you would need to demonstrate that the funds to the company are not channelled to any other company or businesses. There must be clear evidences to show that the funds had been invested into that business alone. As part of the application, the evidence of the investment, you will need to show the entire chain of the investment across any and all intermediary entities that the funds have been passed through before reaching their ultimate destination. 

As part of the investment chain, none of those invested funds should be pooled investment vehicle that does not funding from a UK or devolved Government department or one of its agencies. Further to this, it cannot an open-ended investment trust nor an open-ended investment companies or investment trust companies and not an investment syndicate companies. 

Now moving on, those applicants who have been granted an initial visa between 6th Nov 2014 and 28th March 2019 will need to meet a different set of requirements. As part of the extension application, you must show that you have invested not less than £2 million in the UK, through either UK government bonds or share capital or loan to an active & trading UK registered companies. 

The investments of £2 million must be maintained at that level and the policy allows the process of buying & selling investments. You cannot withdraw the capital however you can withdraw interest and dividend payments which are generated through the qualifying investments from your financial portfolio. 

It is important to note that when institutions manage your financial portfolio, their fees must be in surplus, which includes transaction costs, tax payments to name some of those associated costs and cannot be paid out of the qualifying investments of £2 million. 

Finally, those who have been granted leave on or after 29th March 2019, you will need to demonstrate the £2 million investment only through share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. You would be able to invest £2 million, £5 million or £10 million as appropriate of qualifying investments. 

In reference to UK companies, they must be registered and active trading in the UK. Evidences from Companies House registration, have at least 2 UK employees are some of the requirements to be met as part of the qualifying requirements. 

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Tier 1 Investor

As a Tier 1 migrant, you would be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain otherwise known as settlement once you have completed a period of 5 years residency, however depending on when you have been granted your Tier 1 Investor and the levels of funding, can allow you to settle earlier. 

In summary, you will need to demonstrate that the requirements of the immigration rules for indefinite leave to remain are met at the date of application. You must also demonstrate that you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds of refusal, for example for a civil conviction, non-payment of debt is some of the requirements that are considered as part of the application for settlement. 

You must not have spent more than 180 days in each of the qualifying periods. There are also the requirements to meet the knowledge of life requirements, and there are exemption policies applicable to this. 

Here is a table of requirements, somewhat confusing policy but it would summarise what is required to meet the published policies in respect to the level of investments:

  1. To qualify after 2 years residency, if you have been first granted on or after 6th November 2014, you must show £10 million as your qualifying investments. Those prior to 6th November 2014, you must show that the personal assets value of at least £20 million and £10 million disposable funds.

  2. Now let’s turn to the 3 years residency, so if you have been granted on or after 6th November 2014, then it would be £5 million and prior to that date, it would be £10 million in personal assets with a £5 million in disposal funds. 

  3. Final qualifying period is 5 years, on or after 6th November 2014, it would be at £2 million. Prior to that date, it would be £1 million in disposal income and £2 million in personal assets. 

Frequently asked questions on the Tier 1 Investor Visa

The following provides some answers to common questions that are asked in respect of the Tier 1 Investor Visa. 

What sources is acceptable for the £2Million funding?

You will be able to provide evidences on the source of funds depending on the circumstances. The Home Office cannot simply refuse an application because the source of funds cannot be verified. The purpose is to make sure that the funds have been genuinely acquired and you would be able to explain the source of the funds. This is to prevent serious abuse in the immigration system. 

How long is the visa granted for?

The visa is granted for a period of 2 years and will need to be extended for a further 3 years, so you can complete the 5 years residency.  

Can I bring dependants under the Tier 1 Investor Visa?

If you hold a Tier 1 visa, you would be allowed to bring your partner and children in the UK and will need to meet the requirements of the immigration rules.

Taking legal advice on the Tier 1 Investor Visa

We at ICS Legal will provide guidance and correct advice on the Tier 1 Investor Visa. We will be able to advise, plan your investments, complete procedural process in the UK and the submission of your Tier 1 Investor Visa application. 

You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us at info@icslegal.com if you are considering to apply under the Tier 1 Investor Visa. 

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