Sections

Tier 1 (Investor) visa

If you wish to apply for a visa in this category then our team at Hunter Stone Law will be able to guide and assist you throughout every step of the process. In order to qualify for this visa you would have to meet the requirement of the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. However we have attempted to simplify the requirements below.

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if:

  • you want to invest £1,000,000 or more in the UK
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

You must have access to at least £1,000,000 in investment funds to apply.

Eligibility

You must have at least £1,000,000 investment funds to apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa.

You must be 16 years old or older to apply for this visa.

Your funds must be:

  • held in 1 or more regulated financial institutions
  • free to spend (‘disposable’) in the UK

There are different eligibility requirements depending on whether you will be using your own money or using money loaned to you to invest.

Students with financial sponsorship

You may be able to apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if you’re already in the UK and you’re:

  • a Tier 4 (General) visa holder
  • a student nurse
  • studying, writing up a thesis or re-sitting an exam
  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • an overseas qualified nurse or midwife
  • a student sabbatical officer

You must have unconditional agreement in writing from your financial sponsor to re-enter or stay in the UK if your course fees and living costs were paid by either:

  • a government
  • an international scholarship agency

Using your own money to invest 

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if you have £1,000,000 or more in investment funds and you can prove that the money belongs to either you or your husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner.  Your money can be in the UK or overseas when you apply.

Using money loaned to you to invest

You can apply if you have £1,000,000 that’s been loaned to you for investment in the UK, but you must also have more than £2,000,000 in personal assets (after liabilities have been taken into account).

The £1,000,000 investment money must:

  • be made up entirely of loaned money and not include any personal money
  • have been loaned to you by a UK regulated financial institution (eg bank, building society)
  • be available to spend (‘disposable’) in the UK

You must be able to prove that the £2,000,000 in personal assets is either:

  • your own
  • jointly held with or belonging to your husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner

Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport-sized colour photograph
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • you will also need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

Evidence of investment funds

You’ll need to provide evidence showing that you have the required investment funds.

Your own money

If you’re using your own money to invest, you should be able to show:

  • how much money you have and where it’s being held
  • where the money came from if you haven’t had the money for at least 3 months (eg you inherited it from a relative)
  • that the money can be transferred to the UK and converted to sterling (if it’s not already in the UK)

Your partner’s money

You’ll need to provide:

  • a certificate of marriage or civil partnership, or in the case of unmarried or same-sex relationships, proof that you are in a long-term (at least 2 years) relationship
  • a statement from your partner confirming that they will allow you to control the funds in the UK
  • a letter from a legal adviser stating that the declaration is valid

Loaned money

You’ll need to provide a letter of confirmation from an authorised official of a UK regulated financial institution, stating that:

  • you have personal assets valued at over £2,000,000 after liabilities
  • no less than £1,000,000 is available for you to borrow on the date that the letter is issued
  • the institution will confirm the contents of the letter if required

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Application process 

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa – we will assist you in preparing your application and liaise with you every step of the way to ensure you have every chance of success.

Apply in the UK

You can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you’re already in the UK.

Extend your visa

You may be able to extend your Tier 1 (Investor) visa. When making the application you should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend - including children who have turned 18 during your stay. In addition you should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to extend your visa if you:

  • have at least £1,000,000 under your control in the UK
  • have invested at least £750,000 (or 75%) of that in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies
  • invested this sum within 3 months of your ‘investor start date’

£1,000,000 under your control in the UK

This sum should include the £750,000 (or more) investment and £250,000 (or the balance needed) to bring it up to at least £1,000,000.

These funds can be either:

  • your own money or your partner’s money
  • money that has been loaned to you by a UK regulated financial institution, as long as you have personal assets with a value of £2,000,000 or more

You can’t mix the 2 sources of funds.

£750,000 investment made within 3 months of your investor start date

You’ll need to provide a portfolio report produced by a UK regulated financial institution that shows that:

  • you invested at least £750,000 in UK business within 3 months of your investor start date
  • this level of investment has been maintained for the length of your visa

Your ‘investor start date’ is either:

  • the date you came into the UK (if you have proof of this)
  • the date your original visa application or switch from a different visa category was approved (if you can’t prove your date of entry)

Switch to this visa

You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Investor) visa.  Once again you should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Post-study work)
  • any Tier 2 category
  • any Tier 4 category
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  • businessperson
  • innovator
  • student (under the rules in place before 31 March 2009)
  • student re-sitting an examination
  • student nurse
  • students writing up a thesis
  • work permit holder
  • writer, composer or artist
  • investor

Family members

Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. They must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • your child under 18

If your dependants applying from outside the UK then your family members must apply online.

Dependants applying in the UK

Your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they’re already in the UK. They should apply using the dependant application form.  It’s best to send your dependants’ applications at the same time as yours but they can apply at a later date by post, or in person at a premium service centre. Please note that your family members can’t apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • invest £1,000,000 or more in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies
  • work or study
  • apply to settle after 2 years if you invest £10 million
  • apply to settle after 3 years if you invest £5 million

You can’t:

  • invest in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development
  • work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
  • get public funds

You also can’t work as a doctor or dentist in training unless one of the following applies:

  • you have a bachelors level degree in medicine or dentistry from a UK institution that holds a Tier 4 sponsor license or is a UK recognised or listed body
  • you worked as a doctor or dentist in training the last time you were in the UK
  • neither of those conditions were part of the terms and conditions on a previous visa