Your complete guide to the UK’s Investment Visa
By participating in the UK Investment Visa program, affluent foreign investors can obtain UK residency and citizenship by making eligible financial investments. As a reputable agent specialising in UK residency through investment, we, at Victorstone, can assist you in acquiring permanent residence in the United Kingdom effortlessly.
The United Kingdom, consisting of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, is an island country located off the northern coast of mainland Europe. With a rich history as the birthplace of modern-day parliamentary democracy and the industrial revolution, the UK has evolved into one of Europe’s largest economies and a prominent global trading hub.
Renowned as the world’s financial capital, London provides a thriving international business environment. The UK boasts exceptional educational institutions and embraces a global, open culture.
In January 2020, the UK underwent a referendum resulting in its departure from the European Union. Nevertheless, the country remains an active participant in significant global institutions such as the Commonwealth, NATO, G7, G20, United Nations, and WTO, among others. Furthermore, the UK offers opportunities for immigrants through its UK Citizenship Investment programs.
UK in numbers
The United Kingdom, known for its rich history and cultural landmarks, is home to one of the world’s oldest monuments, Stonehenge. While English serves as the official language, the country boasts a variety of distinct accents. With its strong economic prowess, the UK holds a prominent position as one of the leading countries globally in terms of exports.
It possesses the sixth-largest economy in the world based on nominal gross domestic product and the eighth-largest based on purchasing power parity. The UK maintains a high-income economy and achieves a commendable ranking of 18th in the world on the Human Development Index, reflecting its high standards in areas such as education, healthcare, life expectancy, and overall human development.
- Population: 68 million
- Economy: Mixed Economy
- Currency: Pound Sterling
- Time Zone: GMT/BST
- Languages: English
About the UK Investment Visa Programme
In 1994, the United Kingdom introduced an immigration pathway specifically designed for foreign investors. This initiative implemented a point-based system that included visas such as Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur. However, due to security concerns, the UK government made an official decision last year to close the Tier 1 Investor visa route for new applications from all nationalities. Nevertheless, extensions are still available for visas that have already been issued.
The Tier 1 investor visa previously allowed non-EEA individuals to enter and reside in the UK by investing funds in the share or loan capital of active and trading UK-registered companies. In response to the closure of the Tier 1 Investor visa, a new visa category called the Innovator visa was introduced for genuine investors who aimed to establish their own businesses in the UK. To qualify for UK residency through investment, a minimum investment of £50K is required. Applicants must demonstrate an innovative, scalable, and viable business idea supported by an endorsing body. The funds used for investment should come from legitimate sources. Authorities place emphasis on genuine job creation and other tangible economic contributions by investors.
The initial validity period for this visa is three years, with the possibility of extending it for an additional three years. According to immigration rules, migrants can apply for permanent residency status, known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), after three years, and become eligible for citizenship through investment after six years.
As leading agents specializing in residency by investment, we, at Victorstone, are here to assist you in obtaining a UK residence permit. If you would like more information about the programme, don’t hesitate to contact us today!
In order to be eligible for the UK Residence Visa by Investment, individuals are required to invest £50,000 into a new business and obtain an endorsement letter approved by the Home Office. Additionally, applicants must possess relevant business experience and develop a comprehensive and unique business plan.
The endorsing body, responsible for evaluating applications, assesses the business plan and accompanying documentation based on specific endorsement criteria, including innovation, viability, scalability, and overall genuineness and credibility.
Applicants must satisfy the business endorsement criteria by creating an original business plan that caters to both local and international markets, showcasing innovative ideas and approaches.
To demonstrate viability, candidates should possess sufficient knowledge, extensive experience, market awareness, and the necessary skills to effectively manage and operate their business.
Proof of structured planning and potential for job creation, as well as the ability to expand into national markets, are essential elements to establish scalability.
Apart from the investment itself, there are additional criteria that investors must fulfil to acquire a UK residence permit through investment. These include opening a UK bank account, meeting specified residency requirements, and providing evidence that the investment funds have been obtained legally.
- Pathway to UK Citizenship
The UK offers a pathway to citizenship through its residence by investment program. Applicants have the opportunity to reside in the country for an initial period of three years and apply for permanent residency. Following this, they can extend their residency permit for an additional three years. Upon completing a total of six years of residency, individuals become eligible to apply for UK citizenship, granting them full rights and privileges as citizens of the country.
- Quality of Life
By participating in this program, applicants can experience the advantages of residing in one of the world’s most robust economies and enjoying access to a top-tier healthcare system. The minimum investment required for this opportunity is £50,000.
The main applicant has the option to include their spouse and children under the age of 18 as dependents in the application.
You and your family can later become British citizens, allowing you to travel visa-free to more than 170 countries.
By obtaining residency status or citizenship in the UK, investors unlock a plethora of opportunities. Alongside the advantages outlined below, investors and their families can embrace life in a diverse and multicultural society that offers abundant options across various sectors.
- Reside in one of the world’s leading countries renowned for its exceptional infrastructure, healthcare, and education systems
- Enjoy a high standard of living and secure living conditions
- Benefit from a favourable taxation regime designed for UK residents
- Access a stable banking system that ensures the security and growth of your savings
- Explore global business prospects and engage in international ventures
- Seize the opportunity to acquire UK citizenship and obtain a UK passport
- Gain visa-free travel to over 170+ countries, including EU states, Japan, and Singapore, upon securing a UK passport
- Pass down citizenship rights to future generations, providing long-term benefits for your family
UK Business Immigration Programmes
- UK Innovator Visa
The UK Innovator Visa is specifically designed for seasoned entrepreneurs who are prepared to establish innovative and distinct businesses in the UK. To qualify for this visa, a minimum investment of £50,000 is required, and applicants must obtain endorsement from an authorised endorsing body.
- UK Sole Representative Visa
The UK Sole Representative Visa enables a key employee of a foreign company to enter the United Kingdom with the purpose of establishing and managing a registered UK branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. This visa category aims to facilitate the expansion of international businesses in the UK by allowing senior representatives to effectively oversee operations.
- Tier 1 Investor Visa
The Tier 1 Investor Visa provides an opportunity for high-net-worth individuals to make a significant financial investment in the United Kingdom. This visa category is specifically tailored for individuals who are willing to invest a minimum of £2 million in the UK.
Documents Required for UK Investment Visa
To initiate the application process for a UK Investment Visa, the applicant is required to submit a range of documents. These documents, along with the completed online application form, will be reviewed by the UK authorities during the assessment process. The necessary documents include:
- Valid Travel Document: A passport or any other recognized travel document that remains valid throughout the intended stay.
- Negative Tuberculosis Test Results: Evidence of a recent tuberculosis test showing a negative result.
- Clean Criminal Record Certificate: A certificate or statement confirming the absence of any criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
- Proof of Sufficient Funds for Investment: Documentation demonstrating that the applicant possesses the required funds for investment.
- Age Requirement and Dependents: The principal applicant must be at least 18 years old and has the option to include dependents in the application, such as spouses, partners, and minor children.
- English Language Requirement for Innovators: Innovators are not required to pass a language test if they can demonstrate proven knowledge of English at level B2.
- Additional Documents if Partner Provides the Funds: If the funds are provided by a partner, the applicant should also submit the following: a. Marriage Certificate or Civil Partnership: A certificate validating the marital or civil partnership status. b. Confirmation from Partner: A document confirming that the partner permits the applicant to have control over the funds in the UK. Statement Validity Letter: A letter from a legal adviser verifying the validity of the statements made regarding the funds.d. Proof of UK Bank Account: Evidence of holding a UK bank account in the applicant’s name.
- Document Translation: Any documents that are not in English or Welsh should be translated into one of these languages.
These documents are essential to complete the UK Investment Visa application process and provide the necessary information for the authorities to make an informed decision.
The application for a UK Investment Visa is made through the official Visas and Immigration website of the UK Government. The step-by-step process for applying is as follows:
- Fill out the online application form provided on the website.
- Gather and submit all the necessary documents as required for the visa application.
- Make the payment for the visa fee as specified by the UK Government.
- Pay the health surcharge, which is a mandatory fee associated with accessing the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
- After submitting the online application, you will need to visit the nearest UK visa application centre to provide your biometric information, including fingerprints, and submit any additional required documents.
- The visa application process typically takes up to three weeks to be processed and a decision to be made.
Investing in real estate does not meet the criteria for obtaining UK residency. The UK Investment Visa, also known as the Golden Visa, provides an opportunity for foreign individuals to gain residency in the United Kingdom by making qualified investments in the country’s economy. However, it’s important to note that the minimum investment requirement for the innovator visa is higher, starting from £50,000, as it involves setting up a personal business with an endorsed business plan.
To be eligible for a UK investment visa, individuals are required to make a minimum investment of £50,000 into a new business. This investment must be accompanied by an endorsement letter from the Home Office, demonstrating the credibility and authenticity of the applicant’s business plan. Furthermore, applicants are expected to possess relevant business experience in order to create a robust and viable plan. The endorsing body responsible for evaluating the business plan and supporting documentation will assess the plan’s innovation, viability, and scalability, ensuring its genuineness and credibility.
Under the UK Investor Visa, your family members can also accompany you. Dependent family members eligible for inclusion in your application are your spouse, partner, and minor children (under 18 years of age). Additionally, adult children may be eligible to join you if they are dependent or already residing in the UK with you. To include your family members, they must apply online via the official Visas and Immigration website of the UK government. It is important for adult family members to have a clean criminal record from all the regions they have previously resided in.
Certainly, with a UK Investor Visa, both you and your dependent family members have the opportunity to work and study in the United Kingdom. However, it is important to note that there are some limitations on specific professions. You are not permitted to work as a sports coach or professional sportsperson under this visa category. Moreover, working as a medical practitioner is only allowed if you hold a degree from a recognized UK institution or have previous work experience in such positions within the UK. Other than these restrictions, you and your dependents are free to explore employment and educational opportunities in the UK.
Yes, the UK Investment Visa can eventually lead to UK citizenship, but it requires fulfilling certain requirements over a period of time. Once you have obtained the Investor Visa, it is important to maintain your investment and ensure that both you and your family members continuously reside in the UK to become eligible for citizenship. To qualify for a UK passport, the following criteria must be met:
- Reside in the UK for a minimum of six years.
- Spend at least 75% of your time in the UK during the first five years.
- In the year preceding your citizenship application, not be outside of the country for more than three months in total.
- Have a clean legal record, meaning you should not have committed any criminal offenses.
- Possess a sound moral character.
- Demonstrate familiarity with UK culture and exhibit knowledge of either English, Scottish, or Welsh language.
By meeting these requirements, you can progress towards acquiring UK citizenship and enjoy the benefits of being a citizen, including the possibility of obtaining a UK passport.
The UK Innovator Visa initially grants a validation period of three years. Once your visa nears its expiration, you have the option to extend it for an additional three years. After completing a total of three years on the visa, you become eligible to apply for permanent residency, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Want to know more or need help with applying for the UK Investment Visa?