UK Tier 1 Investor visa and qualifying investments

Tier 1 Investor - UK’s Golden visa program

(This article was updated on 25/06/2020)

Tier 1 Investor – UK’s Golden visa program

UK does not have a direct citizenship by investment program like Bulgaria (investment €1 million), Cyprus (€ 2 million), Malta (€1 million) – however the Tier 1 Investor program is its equivalent of the Golden visa programs that are seen in Europe.

To apply for Tier 1 Investor visa the applicant is required to demonstrate that they have £ 2 million in investment funds available to invest in UK. If the investor has made investments in the UK in recent 12 months then these can also be considered towards the Tier 1 Investor visa application.

In 2019 UK had granted 749 investor visas – bringing in total investment of almost £ 1.5 billion to the UK.

Applicants are required to show that they have held the monies for investment for at least 2 years (or its source if they have had the money for less than 2 years).

To extend the visa the applicant will be required to show they have invested not less than £2 million in the UK by way of –

  • UK Government bonds
  • Share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.

Making an investment of £ 2 million – allows the investor to live, work or carry out a business in the UK. The applicant can be joined by their spouse and children (up to 18 years age). Applicants are eligible for settlement at the end of 5 years, however they can opt for accelerated settlement by investing £5 million or £10 million

It is pertinent to note that in order to count for the award of points,

  • Investments made as loan or share capital must be made in companies that are active and trading
  • The funds must not be invested through an offshore company or trust
  • The funds must not be invested in open-ended investment companies, investment trust companies, investment syndicate companies (pooled resource / shared risk entities such as ‘namecos’ operating as part of a banking, underwriting or insurance syndicate, for example) or pooled investment vehicles.
  • The funds must not be invested in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development
  • The funds must not be invested by using deposits with a bank, building society or other enterprise whose normal course of business includes the acceptance of deposits except where the investment is made in bonds offered through NS&I.

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