Golden visa in the United Kingdom for high value investors

UK Golden visa scheme is known as “tier1 investor visa” schemes for high value international investors, who want to make a substantial financial investment and want to live and migrate to the United Kingdom. The tier1 golden visa (investor) is based on points based system and 75 points are needed for initial applications under . A record number of tier investor visas issued  and post brexit the investor scheme is still popular because of falling value of pound and attractiveness in UK for doing business.  The minimum investment requirement of £1 million was doubled in October 2014 which cut application numbers by almost three quarters across the board.

  • No english language requirement
  • Allowed to work
  • No requirement to show maintenance funds
  • Accelerated path to permanent settlement
  • Family members can join

Entry Clearance

Permission for you to travel to the UK.

Leave to Enter

Permission to stay in the UK that is granted when you successfully apply and enter the UK from overseas.

Leave to Remain

Permission to stay in the UK that is granted when you successfully apply to stay in the UK, from within the UK.

Leave

General term which means all of entry clearance, leave to enter and leave to remain.

You must:

  • You must have at least £2,000,000 investment funds to apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa.
  • be 18 or over to apply for this visa
  • be able to prove that the money belongs to either you or your husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner
  • from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • have opened a UK bank account

Your funds must be:

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

Processing times

  • Apply from 3 months before you travel.
  • You should get a decision within 3 weeks
  • Pay a fee: £1,561

You can:

  • invest £2,000,000 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

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, for example 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 relationship (at least 2 years)
  • 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
  • You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.
  • You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Investment within 3 months

You’ll need to provide a series of investment portfolio reports produced by a UK regulated financial institution that show:

  • you invested at least £750,000 in UK government bonds or UK business within 3 months of your investor start date (if you first got your visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 November 2014)
  • you invested all £2 million (if you first got your visa under the Immigration Rules in place on or after 6 November 2014)
  • this level of investment has been maintained for the length of your visa

Points based table

Tier 1 Investor applicants must score 75 points for their visa to be granted.

Attributes

Points

The applicant:

  • has money of their own, under their control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK, amounting to not less than £2 million
  • has opened an account with a UK regulated bank for the purposes of investing not less than £2 million in the UK
 75

Applicants can use money owned either jointly or solely by their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner but they must have an unrestricted right to transfer and dispose of the money and have permission from their partner to have control of the money in the UK. They must provide evidence of the relationship and permission to use the joint funds.

Investments that will not be counted towards the award of points

A14.Investors are required to make their investment in the UK in the form of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital.

  • The funds must not be invested through an offshore company or trust. The funds must not be held in offshore custody. This is to ensure, among other things, maximum tax benefit to the UK. We do not regard investment from offshore companies as investment in the UK. This requirement does not apply to you if your previous permission to stay was given under the Investor route (under the Rules in force before 30 June 2008).
  • 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. This requirement does not apply to you if your previous permission to stay was given under the Investor route (under the Rules in force before 30 June 2008).The funds must not be invested in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development (meaning in this context any investment or development of property to increase the value of property with a view to earning a return either through rent or a future sale, or both, or the management of property for the purposes of renting it out, or resale). The principle is that business income must be generated from the supply of goods and/or services and not derived from the increased value of property or any income generated through property, such as rent. This restriction does not, however, prevent you investing in companies that are mainly involved in construction.
  • 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.
  • If your previous permission to stay was given under the Tier 1 (Investor) category this exclusion also applies to ISAs, premium bonds and saving certificates issued by the National Savings and Investment (NS&I).
  • We will not approve applications that rely on leveraged investment funds, including the purchase of stocks or other investments by using borrowed funds (on margin). An investor who borrows money from their broker to purchase stocks uses leverage in order to increase their potential gain. However, if the investments decline in value, then the amount of money the investor loses is likely to increase too. The funds used will not be accepted as the investor’s funds. There is a transitional arrangement for those who entered the category (or the previous Investor route in place before Tier 1(Investor) was introduced on 30 June 2008) or applied to do so before 13 December 2012, where security taken out against the loan will be accepted. Investors meeting the transitional requirements must take no other loans against their investments, however, and the requirements to be in control of their funds and not to leverage investment funds otherwise continue to apply.
  • We will not accept applications that rely on money that a loan has been secured Tier 1 (Investor) against, where another party would have a claim on the money if loan repayments were not met. This includes the scenario of a bank lending funds to you and then taking the investments as security.

Restricted Countries

You can’t apply online if you’re living in North Korea.

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

Visa Extension

You can apply to extend your visa if you:

  • have at least £2,000,000 under your control in the UK
  • have invested those funds in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies
  • invested this sum within 3 months of your ‘investor start date’

Documents needed

  • Current passport or other valid travel identification
  • Tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  •  Police criminal record certificate from any country you have stayed in for a total of 12 months or more over the last 10 years

Length of time in the United Kingdom needed to qualify for settlement

  • You can apply for settlement under Tier 1 (Investor) once you have reached 5 years’ continuous leave in the United Kingdom under the route.
  • However, if you meet additional criteria (explained below), you may apply for accelerated ILR after a continuous period of either 2 years or 3 years.
  • You cannot combine Tier 1 (Investor) leave with leave in any other category to meet the continuous leave requirement.
  • Your qualifying period can include time from the date your initial application (for entry clearance or leave to remain) was approved.
  • You can apply for settlement up to 28 days before you will reach the qualifying period. If you apply earlier than that, your application may be refused. Your qualifying period will be the 5, 3 or 2 years immediately before the date you apply for settlement or the 5, 3 or 2 years immediately before the date your settlement application is decided, depending on which is most beneficial to you. If you have spent more that the required time in the United Kingdom, we will only consider the most recent 5, 3 or 2 years as applicable.

Absences – settlement

  • You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 months of the qualifying period.
  • You will need to list details of your absences from the United Kingdom, including the reasons for those absences, on the form but you will not need to provide any specified evidence to support this.
  • Whatever the reason for any absences from the United Kingdom, they will still be counted towards the maximum 180 days (but see information about delayed entry to the UK below). This includes any absences for work reasons, or serious and compelling reasons. The only exception is where you have been absent from the United Kingdom assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis, such as the Ebola crisis which began in West Africa in 2014 and you can provide evidence that this was the purpose of the absence.
  • You can include time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12 month period.For example, if you entered the United Kingdom 100 days after you obtained entry clearance and have a further 81 days’ absence during the remainder of the continuous 12 month period, you will exceed the number of absences permitted from the United Kingdom. You would therefore not qualify for settlement 5, 3 or 2 years (as appropriate) after the date you obtained entry clearance. You would need to wait until a date where you have spent the relevant period in the United Kingdom with absences of less than 180 days in any consecutive 12 month period, before you could qualify.
  • You do not need to provide evidence to demonstrate a period of absence between obtaining entry clearance and entering the United Kingdom.
  • If you have been outside of the United Kingdom for more than 180 days in a consecutive 12 month period, you will need to start the qualifying period for settlement again. If this happens, you may need to obtain a further grant of limited leave to remain to complete your continuous period in the United Kingdom.
  • For settlement applications made from 11 January 2018, we consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes time before this date and you believe that this change would cause you exceptionally harsh consequences, you must set out the reasons in a letter.

Specific Tier 1 (Investor) Criteria –  Accelerated settlement

Settlement applications are made to the Home Office. The criteria you need to meet differ depending on when you first entered the route.

If you entered the Tier 1 (Investor) route on or after 6 November 2014 you must meet the following criteria:

you have invested at least £2million (or £5 million or £10 million for accelerated settlement) by way of United Kingdom Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading United Kingdom registered companies. The same restrictions on investments that apply to limited leave applications are applicable;  and

you have spent the specified continuous period lawfully in the United Kingdom, with absences from the United Kingdom of no more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during that period. The specified continuous period is either:

  •  2 years, if you can demonstrate that you have invested £10 million as detailed above;
  •  3 years, if you can demonstrate that you have invested £5 million as detailed above; or
  •  5 years, if you can demonstrate that you have invested £2 million as detailed above.

If you have spent time with valid leave in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey or the Isle of Man in a category equivalent to Tier 1 (Investor), you may include this time in your continuous period of lawful residence, provided the most recent period of leave was as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant in the United Kingdom. In any such case, you must not have absences from the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey or the Isle of Man (as the case may be) of more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during the specified continuous period; and

The investment must have been made no earlier than 12 months before the date of the application which led to your first grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant. The level of investment must have been at least maintained throughout the relevant specified continuous period, other than in the first 3 months of that period, and you must provide the specified documents to show that this requirement has been met (see the specified documents section below for more details).

If you entered the Tier 1 (Investor) route before 6 November 2014 you must meet the following criteria:

you have money of your own, under your control in the United Kingdom, amounting to not less than £1 million (£5 million or £10 million for accelerated settlement); or

you own personal assets which, taking into account any liabilities to which they are subject, have a value of not less than £2 million and you have money under your control and disposable in the United Kingdom amounting to not less than £1 million which has been loaned to you by a United Kingdom regulated financial institution; or

you own personal assets which, taking into account any liabilities to which they are subject, have a value of not less than £10 million and you have money under your control and disposable in the United Kingdom amounting to not less than £5 million which has been loaned to you by a United Kingdom regulated financial institution; or

you own personal assets which, taking into account any liabilities to which they are subject, have a value of not less than £20 million and you have money under your control

Refusals

Overseas Administrative Review is the mechanism for reviewing refusal decisions on applications made outside the UK under the Points Based System, where an applicant believes an error has been made in the decision. The Administrative Review is free of charge. Administrative Review is an entitlement but the request must be made within 28 days from the date the refusal notice is received by you.

Out of country applications: If your application for entry clearance is refused under the points-based system, you cannot appeal against our decision. You can apply for an administrative review of the decision if you think we have made an error in considering your application.

Applications after March 2015: If your application for leave to remain under Tier 1 (Investor) was made on or after 2 March 2015, you cannot appeal against our decision. You can apply for an administrative review of the decision if you think we have made an error in considering your application. Details of how to make an administrative review application will be included in the decision letter.

Statistics

A record number of tier1 visas issued by UK

Quarter Applicant type Category Applications Resolved Granted
2008 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 35 28 19
2008 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 30 25 24
2009 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 28 36 31
2009 Q2 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 44 41 32
2009 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 58 58 53
2009 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 43 41 37
2010 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 52 57 49
2010 Q2 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 47 46 41
2010 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 67 63 60
2010 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 67 66 61
2011 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 46 47 44
2011 Q2 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 101 81 70
2011 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 131 139 126
2011 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 105 97 91
2012 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 100 104 100
2012 Q2 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 126 113 102
2012 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 142 162 147
2012 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 139 129 121
2013 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 114 115 105
2013 Q2 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 180 169 156
2013 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 173 182 176
2013 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 137 135 128
2014 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 272 222 213
2014 Q2 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 237 276 251
2014 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 274 263 237
2014 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 510 516 471
2015 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 39 71 57
2015 Q2 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 50 47 43
2015 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 46 50 46
2015 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 55 51 46
2016 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 42 50 42
2016 Q2 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 53 49 40
2016 Q3 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 74 82 72
2016 Q4 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 71 67 61
2017 Q1 Main applicant Tier 1 – Investors 80 81 75
Total     3768 3759 3427

 

Year ending March 2016 Year ending March 2017 Change Percentage change
Work-related visas granted 163,783 164,168 +385 0%
of which:
High value (Tier 1) visas 4,771 4,677 -94 -2%
Skilled (Tier 2) visas 91,797 93,566 +1,769 +2%
Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5) visas 43,574 41,798 -1,776 -4%
Non-PBS/Other work visas 23,641 24,127 +486 +2%
 Year ending December 2015 Year ending December 2016 Change (2) Percentage change
Long-term immigration for work (1), excluding dependants 73,000 66,000 -7,000 -10%
Long-term (1 year or more) work-related visas, excluding dependants 81,691

Sources

 



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