The experts at Astons – investment immigration company with a 30 years track record – answer the frequently asked questions regarding relocation to the UK with a Tier 1 Investor visa

What rights does the British Investor visa confer to its holders?

Based on the UK Tier 1 Investor visa, you’ll be entitled to relocate to the UK. You will be able to live, work, study and set up any business in the country. The only limitation is that the Tier 1 route prohibits employment as a doctor, dentist and coach.

Will I be able to travel around Europe with the Investor visa?

The UK Investor visa enables you to live, work, study and set up business only in the UK territory. To cross the Schengen border, you will need to use a passport of your country of origin. As a non-EU national, you will have to obtain a Schengen visa.

I see. What’s the validity term for the UK Investor visa? Can I extend it? 

The initial Tier 1 Investor visa is issued for three years and four months. If you apply for the visa from the UK, you will get a three-year visa. When the visa expires, you’ll be able to extend it for two more years provided that you meet the immigration requirements. 

Great! Where would I need to invest the funds?

To obtain a Tier 1 Investor visa, you must invest a minimum of £2 million into charter or debt capital of existing UK enterprises.

What if I purchase property in the UK? Will it help me get the Investor visa? 

Sadly, it won’t. According to the law, property purchase or deposits in UK banks do not qualify for obtaining the Tier 1 Investor visa.

However, if you are interested to invest into property, we recommend you should get familiar with the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment Programme. Programme members can receive a second passport by investing into Cypriot property and relocate to the UK with a Cyprus passport. Moreover, you’ll be able to apply for the British permanent residency (in five years) and citizenship (in six years).

Interesting! And what rights and perks come along with the British passport?  

The UK passport is considered one of the most powerful in the world. It unlocks visa-free travel to 174 countries. As a passport holder, you’ll be able to live, work, study and set up business in the UK, and gain access to the best education, lucrative taxation, centuries-old culture and traditions as well as the highest living standards.

Perfect. Will I be able to obtain the UK permanent residency and citizenship later?

Yes. Tier 1 Investor visa is a handy way to receive a UK residence permit followed by the permanent residence (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and passport. You can apply for permanent residence five years after you’ve been granted the Investor visa. You can also shorten this term! If you invest £5 million, you’ll be eligible for the Indefinite Leave to Remain in three years. If you invest £10 million, you’ll get your permanent residency in just two years.

I’ll be able to obtain UK citizenship only in a few years. Is that right?

That’s right. You can become a UK citizen through multiple immigration phases:

  • Get a Tier 1 Investor visa
  • Extend the Investor visa in three years 
  • Obtain the UK permanent residency in five years 
  • Become a citizen of the UK on the sixth year

You can speed up the process by investing extra funds as described above.

Are there any specific requirements for foreign investors?

Yes. Candidate requirements for the UK Tier 1 Investor visa are logical and easy to meet.

  1. You must prove that you hold at least £2 million for further investment
  2. You must open an investment account in one of the UK financial institutions regulated by the FCA
  3. You must have no criminal record 
  4. You have a positive endorsement handy 

Okay. Will I need to pass a language exam to get an Investor visa? 

No. To relocate to the UK with a Tier 1 Investor visa, you don’t need to prove your English skills or pass any language tests.

Will I have to provide proof of solvency? I heard it might be difficult to prove that a person has enough money to live in a foreign country. 

No, you won’t have to prove the availability of funds to reside in the UK. The British authorities understand that foreign investors applying for a Tier 1 visa are fully capable of supporting their family and themselves.

By the way, will I be able to bring my family to the UK based on the Investor visa?  

Sure. You can relocate to the UK with your spouse and under age children (under 18 years old).

How long will it take to submit the application?

You can submit the application no earlier than three months before you enter the UK. By default, the application will be reviewed within three weeks if you submit it while being in the UK – and eight to 12 weeks if you apply from abroad. You may employ the paid Priority Service to get a decision on your application within five working days.

I’ll need to plan everything carefully before I make up my mind. Will I need to physically reside in the UK once I obtain the Investor visa? 

It depends on your long-term plans. If you wish to receive the Tier 1 Investor visa, yet you do not aspire to the the British permanent residency and citizenship, you don’t have to spend any specific time in the UK. After your investor visa expires, you’ll be able to extend it for two more years.

In case you wish to apply for permanent residency in the future, you may not spend over 180 days per year outside the UK. British passport candidates have to meet specific requirements: they cannot be absent from the UK for over 450 days within five years and over 90 days within 12 months preceding the application.

It makes sense to apply with the aid of an immigration specialist, doesn’t it? 

Absolutely. The Astons lawyers know the ins and outs of the UK immigration rules and have already assisted many foreign investors to successfully obtain a Tier 1 Investor visa. Our experts will not only help you submit the application correctly, but also save your time, effort and funds.

The Astons experts will provide you with comprehensive support and guide you through the entire immigration process. They will put together the required paperwork, submit your application, help you retrieve the Investor visa and apply for the UK permanent residency and citizenship if that is your intention. We are a result-oriented company: 100% of our clients obtain their visas and passports within foreign investor programmes. These results are due to multiple document checks performed by Astons lawyers and our professional approach to every single case.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including UK, TurkeyVanuatuEU & the Caribbean.

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected] or call +44 207 292 2977