1. Immigration Rules for Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant Scheme
According to the Immigration Rules, Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant Scheme aims at attracting high net worth individuals making substantial financial investments in the UK.
Before 6 November 2014, an applicant should have at least £1,000,000 under his control in the UK which can either be funds of the applicant, or funds that have been loaned by an UK regulated financial institution and secured on the personal assets of the applicant with a value of not less than £2,000,000. To apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, the applicant should invest at least £750,000 (75% of £1,000,000) of the said funds in UK government bonds, and/or the share capital and/or the loan capital of active UK companies, while the balance of £250,000 (25% of £1,000,000) can be invested in real estates and/or in deposits with regulated financial institutions in the UK. The applicant has to maintain his funds in the UK to not less than £1,000,000 during the visa period. Therefore, he/she has to top up any shortfalls due to price fluctuations of his investments.
With effect on 6 November 2014, the minimum amount of funds required to be under the control of an applicant has been increased from £1,000,000 to £2,000,000; the loan option by an UK regulated financial institution has been cancelled; the whole amount of the those funds (£2,000,000) has to be invested in UK government bonds, and/or the share capital and/or the loan capital of active UK companies; but the applicant is not required to top up any shortfalls of his investments as a result of the price fluctuations during the visa period.
During his visa period, the applicant must maintain his investments. He and his dependants can work or be self-employed. However, they cannot work as trainee doctors or dentists or professional sportspersons or sports coaches in the UK. In addition, they are not entitled to the welfare of any government allowances in the UK during their visa periods.
After the application is approved, the applicant and his dependants can enter the UK with an initial Tier 1 (Investor) visa (“Leave to Enter”) for 3 years and 4 months. Subject to fulfillment of the required conditions of the Scheme, they can extend their visas (“Leave to Remain”) for another 2 years every time before their initial or extended visas expire thereafter.
After continuously living in the UK for5 years, subject to fulfillment of the required conditions of the Scheme, the applicant and his dependants can apply for settlement in the UK. Absence from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months will not be counted as continuously living in the UK. In addition, the applicant and his dependants should have passed “the Life in the UK” test and English language test when applying for settlement.
After settlement in the UKfor at least one year,the applicant and his dependants can apply for British citizenship provided that they have spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 years before their applications for British citizenship.
To speed up the process, the applicant can choose to invest £5,000,000so as to settle in the UK after continuously living in the UK for3 years or to invest £10,000,000 so as to settle in the UK after continuously living in the UK for 2 years.
The requirements relating to naturalization applications have not been affected and even if they obtain permanent residence on completing 3 or 2 years’ residence requirements (depending on the amount of investment), they would still be required to wait for another 2 to 3 yearsand comply with the residence and other requirements in order to apply for naturalization.
2. Advantages of Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant Scheme
(1) The applicant is not required to prove his English language ability.
(2) The applicant can move to the UK together with his dependants (spouse and unmarried children under 18 years old).
(3) The applicant and his dependants are allowed to work in the UK.
(4) The applicant and his dependants can apply for settlement in the UK through this route and apply for citizenship afterwards. An accelerated path towards settlement is available for if he can invest more in the UK.
(5) The applicant and his dependants can enjoy the benefits of UK citizens and travel to more than 180 visa free countries when they have their UK passports.
3. Eligibility Requirements
The applicant must：
(1) be at least 18 years old;
(2) have funds of his own of not less than £2 million, under his control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK;
(3) Investment in UK government bonds is being excluded;
(4) have owned such funds for not less than 3 months before the date of his application; otherwise, the applicant has to provide evidence of the sources of the funds, such as gifts, deeds of sale, business income, will, divorce settlements and awards and so on;
(5) Invest within 3 months from the date his arrival to the UK; and
(6) Invest his funds only in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies excluding companies mainly engaged in property investments, property management or property developments.
4. Application Procedures
(1) Preparation of application documents;
(2) Opening of a bank account with a recognized financial institution in the UK;
(3) Going through medical examinations including tuberculosis test;
(4) Submission of application;
(5) Attending to a Visa Centre for collection of biometrics details (fingerprints and photographs).
(6) Approval of application and issuance of an initial Tier 1 (Investor) visa for 3 years and 4 months;
(7) Entering the UK with the visa;
(8) Registering with the Police;
(9) Completion of the required investment of £2,000,000 within 3 months from the date arrival to the UK;
(10) Applying for extension of visa for another 2 years every time before the initial/extended visa expires;
(11) Applying for settlement in the UK after continuously living in the UK for 5 years;
(12) Applying for naturalization as a British citizen 12 months after settlement in the UK.
It usually takes 2 to 4 months to obtain a Tier 1 (Investor) visa which has a validity period of 3 years and 4 months and the applicant shall enter the UK within 3 months after obtaining his visa.
Note: This document is for reference only, all terms are subject to written contract.