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Investor Visa Extension

The Tier 1 Investor Visa is closed for new applicants. If you have this visa, you can explore options such as Investor Visa Extension or apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Contact our immigration solicitors for a free consultation at +44 (0) 1293 522 275 or fill our contact form.

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November 10, 2023

Table of Contents

Note: The UK Investor Visa is no longer available for new applicants.

What is the Investor Visa?

Tailored for high-net-worth individuals seeking to invest £2 million or more, the Investor Visa Extension offers the fastest track to permanent residency in the UK among all visa options. Holding an Investor Visa allows individuals to reside, invest capital, work, study, and conduct business initially for 3 years and 4 months. Following this period, they can extend their visa or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) based on their investment amount.

Applications for the Tier 1 Investor route hinge on the applicant’s capacity to invest the specified amount within the UK. Notably, unlike numerous other immigration paths, the Investor visa does not mandate an English Language proficiency test. For tailored guidance, contact our team of immigration solicitors.

Benefits of the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa

The standout advantage of the Investor Visa is the prospect of attaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in just 2 years through a £10 million investment, marking the swiftest path to permanent settlement among all UK visas. Notably, no English language proficiency is required for this visa category.

Moreover, the Tier 1 Investor Visa offers an array of comprehensive benefits, empowering recipients to:

  • Reside in the UK: Initially, holders can reside in the UK for 3 years and 4 months, with the option to extend the visa for an additional 2 years before its expiry. This extended duration facilitates a stable settlement and integration into the country’s social and economic fabric.
  • Work Flexibility: Holders enjoy unparalleled flexibility in their employment options. They can engage in any job or with any employer, retaining the freedom to switch roles or employers without constraints, except in professional sports or coaching. This freedom surpasses the limitations imposed by work visas tied to specific sponsor licence holders and restricted occupation types.
  • Business Ventures: Entrepreneurs wielding the Tier 1 Investor Visa can delve into various business opportunities within the UK. They have the liberty to establish new enterprises, acquire existing businesses, or form partnerships, fostering economic growth and innovation.
  • Educational Pursuits: Visa holders and their family members have the liberty to enrol in short or long-term courses at esteemed UK universities or other reputable educational institutions. This access to education bolsters personal and professional growth, contributing to a vibrant academic environment.
  • Travel Privileges: Enjoy unrestricted travel to and from the UK, facilitating seamless international connections for personal, professional, or recreational purposes.
  • Family Inclusion: The visa enables holders to bring partners and dependent children along, granting them access to the UK’s renowned standards of living, education, housing, and healthcare. This familial inclusion enhances the overall quality of life and support network for the visa holder.

Further Details on ILR Eligibility:

  • ILR Eligibility: After 2 years with a £10 million investment, after 3 years with a £5 million investment, and after 5 years with a £2 million investment.

For personalised guidance and comprehensive information on the Tier 1 Investor Visa and its extensive benefits, consult our team of experienced immigration solicitors.

Requirements for the Tier 1 Investor Visa:

As an applicant for the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa, you must demonstrate:

  • Age: You are aged 18 or above.
  • Investment Funds: Possession of £2 million or more in investment funds.
  • Ownership of Funds: The investment funds should belong to you, your partner, or be jointly held.
  • Funds Accessibility: The investment funds must be readily accessible for expenditure in the UK at the time of application.
  • Regulated Financial Institution: The investment funds must be held in a regulated financial institution.
  • UK Bank Account: A UK bank account must be opened, specifically with a regulated bank, to accommodate the investment funds.
  • Currency Conversion: Capability to transfer the investment funds into pounds sterling to your UK bank account. This requirement is crucial, considering that certain countries impose limitations on outward money transfers, necessitating confirmation of compliance with such constraints.

Note: The location of the investment funds, whether inside or outside the UK during the application, is irrelevant, provided you can demonstrate the ability to transfer them into the UK.

Requirement for the UK Investor Visa’s 2-Year Mandate:

The stipulation for a 2-year track record in the UK Investor Visa demands that applicants verify the source of their funds if held for less than 24 months.

The Home Office guidance for the Investor visa indicates that if the funds have not been consistently maintained for 2 years before the application date, the applicant must substantiate the source of these funds and that The Home Office reserves the right to contact the fund source for necessary information verification.

The Home Office deems the following as acceptable sources of funds:

  • Inheritance from a Will: Legacies received through wills within the last 2 years.
  • Gifts Received in the Last 2 Years: Monetary gifts received within the preceding 24 months.
  • Proceeds from Property Sale in the Last 2 Years: Any proceeds derived from property sales within the past 2 years.
  • Business Profits or Holdings: Funds generated or held within your business.
  • Divorce Settlements from the Last Two Years: Settlements received as part of a divorce within the past two years.
  • Financial Awards: Monetary awards received.
  • Winnings: Funds acquired through winnings.
  • Other Legitimate Sources: Additional fund sources are admissible if supported by substantial evidence of lawful acquisition.

Ensure to present comprehensive evidence validating the lawful procurement of any other fund sources.

For an in-depth understanding of the UK Investor Visa’s requirements and tailored assistance in navigating this process, engage with our team of seasoned immigration solicitors.

Investment options for the Tier 1 Investor Visa

The Investor Visa pathway comprises three distinct investment tiers, each offering a varying timeframe for achieving permanent settlement in the UK:

Investment Amount | Eligibility for Settlement (ILR)

  • £10 million | 2 years
  • £5 million | 3 years
  • £2 million | 5 years

Upon arriving in the UK, a minimum investment of £2 million must be made within 90 days. Qualifying investments for the UK Investor Visa encompass the following:

  • Government Bonds: This criterion applies solely to those who acquired their Investor visa before March 29, 2019, under the previous immigration regulations. If seeking an extension based on investment in UK Government bonds, an application must be submitted before April 5, 2023. The deadline for ILR in this context is April 5, 2025.
  • Share Capital or Loan Capital: This investment must be directed towards active and trading UK registered companies. However, investments are restricted from being made in the following entities:
    • Offshore companies or trusts
    • Open-ended investment companies
    • Investment trust companies
    • Investment syndicate companies
    • Pooled investment vehicles
    • Companies primarily engaged in property investment, property management, or property development (although investments in construction companies are permissible).

Extension of the UK Investor Visa

Initially, if applying from outside the UK, your Investor Visa spans up to 3 years and 4 months. For applications made within the UK, the visa’s initial duration is 3 years.

Upon completion of this initial period, you can seek an extension should you intend to prolong your stay.

For a successful Investor Visa Extension application, you must demonstrate:

  • £2,000,000 Investment: A minimum investment of £2,000,000 in the UK.
  • Control over Invested Funds: Assurance that the invested funds are under your control.
  • Investment in Active UK Companies: The investment should be in share capital or loan capital within active UK-based companies.
  • Investment Timing: This sum was invested within 90 days either from your entry into the UK or the approval date of your visa application.

The Investor Visa Extension application entails the following steps:

  • Complete Online Application.
  • Identity Verification: Submission of identity proof as required during the initial visa application.
  • Payment of Application Fee: The online application fee amounts to £1,884.
  • Provide Evidence of Eligible Investment.

Extensions for the Investor Visa typically take about 8 weeks for processing. During this period, you can remain in the UK pending the Home Office’s decision. Additionally, an expedited application process is available for an extra fee of £500, guaranteeing a decision within 5 working days.

For further guidance on extending the Investor Visa and assistance with the application process, engage our proficient team of immigration solicitors.

Transitioning from the Tier 1 Investor Visa to ILR and UK Citizenship:

An integral advantage of the Investor Visa is its pathway to settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR) in the UK within 2, 3, or 5 years, depending on the invested amount (as detailed above).

Upon obtaining ILR, you can permanently reside in the UK without being subject to immigration control. Following an additional year, you become eligible to apply for British citizenship.

To qualify for ILR as an Investor Visa holder:

  • Residency Requirement: You must have resided in the UK for the specified 2, 3, or 5 years solely under the Investor Visa; time spent on other visa types won’t count toward ILR.
  • Absence Limitations: Your absence from the UK should not exceed 180 days within any 12-month period.
  • Investment Criteria: A minimum investment of £2 million, £5 million, or £10 million (depending on your ILR application timing) in share capital or loan capital in active UK companies within 3 months of your arrival in the UK or visa grant date is mandatory.
  • Life in the UK Test: Completion of the Life in the UK Test is required.

Other crucial aspects when applying for ILR as an Investor Visa holder:

  • Early Application: You can apply for ILR 28 days before meeting the eligibility criteria.
  • Application Fee: The ILR application fee for Investor Visa holders is £2,885 per applicant.
  • Processing Time: Decisions typically take up to 6 months.
  • Expedited Decisions: An ILR decision can be obtained within 5 working days for an additional £500 or within 1 working day for an added cost of £1000.
  • Inclusion of Family: You have the option to include eligible family members in your application or have them apply separately if they aren’t yet eligible.

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