It should be noted that the investor route provides ample flexibility (please note some occupations are prohibited under this route). The applicant must satisfy the conditions and adhere to the ongoing responsibilities owed to the Home Office. Further, please note the investor route will not grant you British citizenship immediately.
The applicant’s grant of entry clearance/ leave is also subject to the applicant investing the funds within a prescribed period of time. The investment must be made within 3 months of a specified date. Further, the applicant must also ensure that their level of investment is maintained, although there is no requirement that the actual market value of the investment must be maintained.
Since the 29 th of March 2019, amendments to the UK immigration rules have implemented change to the requirement pertaining to the period of time investment funds must he held in a regulated financial institution prior to submitting an application for entry clearance. Furthermore, for applicants already in the UK under this category who wish to apply for an extension, transitional provisions will apply them.
The applicant and their dependents are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement status) following 5 years of leave under this category. However, please note an accelerated settlement route does also exist and can be utilised by those applicants which are able to invest significantly more than the £2 million
basic requirement. Under the accelerated settlement routes, please note only the applicant can qualify/benefit from the accelerated route, hence spouse/partner and dependents must wait 5 years before they can apply for ILR via this route.
- The first stage will be to complete a questionnaire which will provide us with sufficient detail prior to a consultation meeting.
- During the consultation process we will assess your requirements and provide detailed advice. This advice will be summarised in a letter following the initial meeting. We will not only provide detailed advice on the law and procedural aspects of the application, we will provide advice regarding the merits and pitfalls of your application.
- We will provide a list of all the documentary evidence that will be required.
- We will provide a list of all the supporting evidence needed.
- If you instruct us to proceed with the application, we will not only complete the application, we will also draft a covering letter containing the law in support of your application. Further, we will draft witness statements and submit all supporting evidence along with the application.
- We will prepare a sponsorship declaration if needed.
- We will keep you informed on the progress and updates of your application and will liaise with the decision maker to help ensure your application is considered expeditiously.
- Minimum age of 18 years of age to apply.
- Do not fall for refusal under any of the grounds for refusal.
- Score 75 points under attributes.
- New applicant’s applying must have held their funds for a consecutive period of 2 years ending no earlier than one calendar month before the date of the application (new rule). If the applicant fails to meet this 2 year requirement, the applicant may still be able to satisfy this requirement if they are able to provide the mandatory evidence pertaining to the source of the investment funds. Please note for previous applicants who come under the old rule, the 2 year requirement was previously 90 consecutive days.
- Prove that the source of the investment funds are legitimate and that the funds belong to the applicant/spouse/un-married partner and the funds are fully controlled by the applicant. Further, the applicant must demonstrate that they have opened a bank account at a UK regulated bank to deposit investment funds.
- The funds must be held in a minimum of 1 regulated financial institution.
- The funds must be readily disposable in the UK.
- The funds must be invested in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active or mtrading UK registered companies. The type of UK company excludes businesses which engage in property development, investment, or management.
- Please note the applicant is exempt from the English language requirements under this route, and is also exempt from proof of maintenance funds.
- Police registration if you are from a specified country.
Documentation that will be required :
1 x applicant’s passport photograph.
Tuberculosis test results (unless exempt from this requirement).
Criminal record certificate for every country you lived in for at least 12 months (this requirement covers the entire 10 years prior to the date of entry clearance and applies to any person over the age of 16).
Further documentation will be required pertaining to the proof of the legitimacy of the investment funds.
Clearly the government aim to ensure that the investor route is not exploited and open to abuse.
What is the specified date ?
This is the date you initially arrived as a Tier 1 Investor. You must be able to provide the Home Office with evidence (such as a boarding pass, original flight tickets) of the date you first entered as an investor migrant.
Alternatively, the specified date is the date you were granted entry clearance as a Tier 1 Investor. Further, for investors seeking to apply for ILR or an extension of their stay, they must ensure that the investment funds were invested within the 3 month time period, as the Home Office exercise limited discretion to grant an application where the investment funds were invested after the specified date and the Home Office will expect a compelling reason to justify any exception to this rule.
What are Qualified Investments for the purpose of this application ?
UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active or trading UK registered companies.
The type of UK company excludes businesses which engage in property development, investment, or management. It will be the investor and managing financial institutions responsibility to maintain the level of qualified investment.
Are there any restrictions on how the interest accrued from the qualified investment can be utilised ?
You may withdraw the dividends/interest however you cannot use these funds to pay taxes, wealth manager fees or transaction costs. However, if you invested a surplus (invested more than the 2 million basic requirement) prior to any cost being incurred, you then may use the interest/ dividends from the qualified investment to pay the costs/fees/taxes.
What if any of the Investment funds are sold ?
If any of the investment funds are sold you must invest the full amount of the proceeds (even if sale proceeds are lower than the original investment) into other qualified investments. The re-investment must be achieved before the next reporting period or within 6 months from the date the investment was sold (whichever occurs first).
What investments are specifically excluded ?
Funds which are invested via offshore companies or trusts are prohibited. Further, the Home Office apply stringent requirements pertaining to the origin of the funds. Other investments are excluded which can be discussed during a consultation appointment if applicable in your situation.
Joint Funding derived from the applicant and spouse/partner :
If the qualified investments are held by the applicant and spouse/ partner, the partner must sign a legal declaration (must be in a prescribed format), which permits the gift of the beneficial ownership to the applicant (confirming the applicant has control over the entire investment funds).
Arrival in the UK :
If the applicant is granted entry clearance, you will be granted entry clearance for 30 days to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of your arrival at a specified location. When collecting your BRP you will be required to show your passport and original decision letter from the Home Office. Once you receive your BRP it will be your responsibility to ensure all the details specified on the permit are correct.
Once you are granted the visa, are there any limitations on travelling outside the UK ?
You are permitted to travel outside the UK for business or holiday. You must be aware of the Indefinite Leave to Remain requirement that you must not spend more than 180 days outside the UK within a 12 month period during the qualifying period of leave. Please not that this requirement is applied stringently.
Further, we strongly advise that you record all the dates of travel for both you and any dependents. The Home Office will require you to confirm your date(s) of departure, return, destination, and purpose of visit.
ILR applications :
For ILR application, you will be required to complete Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK test, and you must meet the absences requirement as discussed above for the qualifying period of leave. Further, the Home Office will also consider whether there are any character or conduct issues, and may deny your application if your exclusion is found to be conducive to the public good.
Our legal fee? (minimum of 2k excluding disbursements depending on the complexity of the application)
Evidential Requirements in more detail for first time applicants (subject to the new rules)
- Criminal record certificate is required for each country that you have been present in for the past 12 months for the qualifying period (10 years from date of entry clearance), since the applicant was age 18.
- Evidence that you have opened a UK bank account: Must obtain letter from UK financial institution regulated by the FCA (letter must confirm this). The letter must be dated within 3 months from the date of application. It must state the account holders name and account number. The letter must also confirm that the account was opened for the purpose of investing a minimum of £2 million, or will be used for the purpose of investing a minimum of £2 million.
- Evidence of qualifying funds: The applicant must demonstrate that they have the required funds available and under their full control so the applicant can dispose the funds however they wish to. The applicant must show that they have held the required investment funds continuously for a 2-year period, ending no earlier than 1 month prior to the application being submitted. Four different options exist with specific requirements to satisfy the evidential requirements.
- Evidence that the funds can be transferred to the UK: This requirement applies to applicants who have investment funds held outside the UK. The applicant must provide a letter from an authorised official on official-headed paper from a UK or overseas regulated bank. The letter will generally confirm that the funds are present and are readily transferable subject to the applicant for entry clearance being approved. The letter must adhere to the requirements listed by the Home Office guidance.
- Evidence of the source of funds: This evidential requirement only applies if you are unable to show that you have held the investment funds for a continuous period of 2 years (new rule), no earlier than 1 calendar month prior to submission of application. If you do not meet requirement number 4, you must provide an irrevocable memorandum of gift and confirmation letter from a lawyer permitted to practise in the country where the gift was made.
- Evidence of joint funding. The evidence required is to prove that your relationship is genuine and subsisting and that the applicant has full control of funds. Proof such as Joint Tenancy agreement, declaration from spouse, mortgage agreement. Of course, all evidence such as the declaration must be valid, and in accordance to the laws of the country it was made.