Immigration Lawyers for Investors in the UK
On the 17th February 2022 the Home Office have published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules closing the investor visa route with immediate effect to all new applicants.
This is for reasons of national security as there have been longstanding concerns that the route has been vulnerable to exploitation by those seeking to transfer illicitly obtained wealth to the UK and by those accessing complex investment schemes to circumvent the genuine investment requirement.
Future alternative provisions for investment-related migration are expected to be included in the existing Innovator immigration route in Autumn 2022. These will be more targeted provisions for investment-related migration for overseas nationals with a track record of investment activity overseas and credible plans to engage in such activity.
Those who have leave to enter or remain in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor migrant can extend their stay, including making an entry clearance application from outside the UK if they have held leave as a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant in the 12-month prior to the date of the application, and to apply for settlement.
Applicants for entry clearance or leave to remain who have had Tier 1 Investor leave within the last 12 months immediately before the date of application must apply before 17 February 2026.
Applications for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) must be made before 17 February 2028.
There have been numerous updates to this status since 6th November 2014 so it is crucial for individuals to become aware of what will be required of them throughout their time in the UK.
Investor visa and resident permit applications made before 6th November 2014
Those who have already made an initial application prior to, or are extending their stay under the rules in place before 6th November 2014, will be subject to the following:
The applicant must be able to prove using documentation as evidence that they have access to £1,000,000 (disposable and in a financial institution), or £2,000,000 (in personal assets) and £1,000,000 (loan);
A proportion of this investment (25%) can be invested into property;
An application for an extension must have been submitted by 6 April 2020 and the applicant must increase their qualifying investments to £2,000,000;
This is not strictly a working category but the investor can undertake employment if desired. However, they may not become a doctor in training;
There is no requirement for the investor to have proficiency in English language with the first application or any extension. However, there will be an English language requirement for indefinite leave to remain applications;
There is no maintenance requirement (the need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family in the UK).
Investor visa and residence permanent applications made on or after 6th November 2014
Those who apply under the rules in place on or after 6th November 2014 will be subject to the following:
The current £1 million minimum investment figure was doubled to £2 million;
The full amount must be invested within 3 months of the entry date to the UK, in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. Previously only 75% was necessary and the individual was left with 25% to invest in other permissible UK assests;
The investment sum can no longer be sourced as a loan from a UK financial institution;
An extension application must be made by 6 April 2023 and legislation up until 6 November dictates that the individual must ‘top-up’ their initial investment if it falls below the minimum threshold of £2,000,000.
Investor visa and residence permit applications made on or after 29 March 2019
Minimum investment figure of £2,000,000 held in one or more regulated financial institutions for 2 years or more and disposable in the UK. If the money has not been held in the bank account or portfolio for 2 years or more, you must always provide evidence of the source of funds.
The full amount must be invested within 3 months of the entry date to the UK in UK share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. It is no longer possible to invest in UK government bonds.
The level of investment must be maintained for the whole of the remaining period of leave.
A company considered to be active and trading for the purposes of an Investor visa if you entered the route after 29 March 2019 is one that:
Is registered with Companies House in the UK
Is registered with HM Revenue and Customs for corporation tax and PAYE
Has accounts and a UK bank account with both showing regular trading of is own goods or services
As of 1st October 2019 has at least 2 UK based employees who are not its directors
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
Qualification for ILR will vary depending on how much has been originally invested. As is the case for those who applied before 6th November 2014, the investor should have spent no more than 180 days per year outside the UK:
After 5 years
After 5 years if the applicant has invested money of his own, under his own control amounting to at least £2,000,000
After 3 years
After 3 years if the applicant has invested money of his own under his control amounting to £5,000,000
After 2 years
After 2 years if the applicant has invested money of his own under his control amounting to at least £10,000,000.
In order to qualify for ILR, the money must be invested in the UK by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies, subject to the restrictions.
The family members of Investor migrants can submit an application to join their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner, or parent (if the applicant is under the age of 18 at the time of application) in the UK. They may also apply for settlement at the same time as the Investor migrant applicant. Family members are able to work in the UK.
Applications for Investor visas have received extra scrutiny recently as the UK government has been concerned about the origins of the £2,000,000. It is therefore very important that you can show evidence of the source of the funds – especially if the funds have been gifted or are from the sale of assets.
Do not forget that for first time applications, you will need to show evidence of your conduct (specific criminal / civil penalty checks) over the last 10 years.
Our fee for full representation starts from £3000 plus VAT (if applicable).
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