WORKING IN THE UK
Tier 1 Investor Visa
The Tier 1 Investor visa enables high net worth individuals to obtain immigration leave in the UK on the basis of investing in UK Government bonds or in an active UK-registered company or companies. Investment in a UK company(ies) can be made by way of share or loan capital.
Applicants may apply from outside the UK and, in some circumstances, may switch from a different visa within the UK. Their close dependants (spouse/partner and children under the age of 18) may apply for dependant visas, and the whole family may eventually qualify for indefinite leave to remain (settlement).
The main applicant must have funds of at least £2m to invest, but there are also routes to invest £5m or £10m. The amount invested determines how long it takes to acquire indefinite leave to remain. With a £2m investment indefinite leave to remain may potentially be acquired in five years, with a £5m investment in three years and with a £10m in two years.
The initial visa is granted either for three years four months (outside the UK) or three years (within the UK). If the applicant applies for indefinite leave to remain under the three-year or two-year route then, obviously, there will be no need to extend the initial visa. But if the applicant is going to apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years then they will need to apply for an extension of the initial visa.
When an applicant applies either for an extension visa or for indefinite leave to remain they have to show that they have invested all their funds appropriately and, additionally, that the investment has kept its value for the whole period.
Tier 1 Investors and their family members are entitled to work if they wish to do so, but there is no requirement that they have to.
Unlike many other types of visa there is no English language requirement for either initial visa applications or extension visa applications. (There is, however, an English language requirement for indefinite leave to remain applications.)