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United Kingdom is one of the best countries to live, work, study and do business for high-net worth individuals and families.
The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment in the UK.
UK tier 1 investor visa program is the most popular investment migration program to the United Kingdom for HNW families. The investment minimum for UK tier1 visas is set at £2,000,000 based on PBS -points based system. The investor scheme offers a fast track option of settlement in the United Kingdom and later path to citizenship meeting all the requirements. The entry clearance decision issued within 3 weeks.
The UK Government first launched the high value investor visa scheme on 1 October 1994. As of 2004, investor applicants were required to hold at least £1 million in the UK and to invest £750,000 in UK Government bonds, stocks or corporate bonds. In addition, the applicant had to make the UK their main home. In 2008, the Government introduced the Points Based System.As from 6 Nov 2014, UK announced increase in tier 1 investor visa from £1 million to £2 million.
UK has also the fastest golden visa scheme in the world in terms of processing time. The Home office makes decisions within 1-3 weeks. This makes it very attractive for HNW/UHNW applicants who dont want wait a long time unlike US/Canada.
The minimum investment required is GBP £ 2 million has to be invested atleast for 5 year term in Government bonds, loan or share capital. ILR (UK permanent residency) is issued after 5 years. The investor is not allowed to invest this money in property, bank deposit. No employment is allowed. The investor is free to do whatever he wants with the remaining £ 250,000 money. Financing option is available but the investor has to prove that he/she has atleast GBP£ 2 million in assets.
Upon successful approval of the application, the investor will be given a 3 year entry clearance visa (40 months), with 2 year renewals and then after 5 years of legal residence in the UK, they qualify for `permanent residence` or `ILR indefinite leave to remain` status, provided the investor has maintained the invested money of £2 million, as stipulated by the program. Once ILR has been granted, you may travel in and out of the UK any time. But you should not spend more than 2 years consecutively outside the UK.
The UK Home Office announced significant changes to the UK Immigration Rules which include updates to both Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Investor visa categories. The new rules come into effect on 29 March 2019.
Only the main applicant will have his/her route to permanent residence fast tracked through higher level of investment; their dependents (spouse and children) can only apply for permanent residence after living for 5 years in UK.
Applicants must have money of your own, under your own control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to not less than £2 million. The money must be disposable in the UK and the applicant must open an account with a UK regulated financial institution
The investment must be made within 3 months, after entering UK. The investor is allowed to bring with family and children under 18 years of age.
The investor will be eligible to apply for UK citizenship after 6 years of stay in the UK. UK allows dual nationality but please keep in mind that your home country may not recognize it.
The Source of funds accepted under gift,deeds of sale,evidence from a business,will,divorce settlement,award or winning
The UK Government introduced a “points-based system for non-EEA immigration for the UK in 2008. For Tier1 investor visas, the applicant must have a minimum of 75 points
Total of initial 75 points awarded for applicants who :
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.
Investment offshore The funds must not be invested in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development
On June 23, 2016 UK voted to leave the European Union and withdrawal date is set at 31 Oct 2019 at 00:00 (Brussels time).
Despite brexit fears, UK is still an attractive country for investment and the demand for Tier1 investor investors have soared. Chinese, Russians, Americans and Indians among those who top the table
Applicants may apply for British citizenship one year after being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, providing they satisfy strict residential requirements below:
1. Resident in the UK for 5 years, and have been present in the UK 5 years before the date of citizenship
application, and have not spent more than 450 days outside the UK in 5 years,
2. Have not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 months preceding the application.
Once UK citizenship has been granted, there is no restriction on time spent outside the UK.
The UK allows to have more than one nationality.
The United Kingdom passport is one of the best and highly respected travel documents in the world ranking fifth powerful in the world with visa free access to 186 world countries in 2018
We have compiled the most important questions regarding the tier1 investor scheme
The Home office will make a decision within 3 weeks, before approving entry clearance.
You can make an appeal and ask for administrative review of the decision made.
You are permitted to study, but you will need to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for the course/research and present it to your education institution before you start your study for Doctorate, Masters Degree, Post Graduate or Research period
Yes, you can show £2m at your disposal, owned either jointly with, or solely by, your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner. You must have unrestricted right to transfer and dispose of the money.
Yes, you manage your own investments or your portfolio manager does not operate in the UK and is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
You can prove evidence for source of funds as:
Here are the main differences
Leave is a general term which means all of entry clearance, leave to enter and leave to remain.
Yes, investors and spouse are allowed to work under investor stream.
Entry Clearance is a permission for you to travel to the UK (usually a visa).
You must make the full investment within 3 months, once the entry clearance is issued. The money may be held overseas at the time of application
If you come from a country subject to financial sanctions (eg Iran, Syria, Venezuela) etc, you have to receive permission fromHM Treasury, that you are authorised to transfer funds to a bank account in the United Kingdom. If the funds are freely transferrable and your application will be refused.
After you are issued entry clearance, you have to come to UK and collect biometric residence permit within 10 days
Applicant must open an account with a UK bankregulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for the purposes of investing not less than £2million in the UK. The bank will do all the KYC/Due diligence of client
You can also open account with wealth management investment firm comply with FCA/PRA standards , who will manage and control your portfolio
The institution that has opened the account for the applicant must confirm that is has completed all necessary due diligence and Know Your Customer checks in relation to your account, else application may be refused by Home office
You must hold the investment for 2 years after entry clearance. If you want settlement or permanent residency, you must hold £2 million for 5 years by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies
UK has the best education system in the world with top universities. Children from age 5 to 18 will be able to attend state schools free of charge. UK universities are not free.
No, passive investments such as real estate are ineligible. If you invest above £2m you can spend the excess on buying a home.
Yes, Investments made as loan or share capital must be made in companies that are active and trading. A company considered to be active and trading for the purposes of Tier 1 (Investor) if you entered the route after 29 March 2019 is one that:
• Is registered with Companies House in the UK;
• Is registered with HM Revenue and Customs for corporation tax and PAYE;
• Has accounts and a UK bank account with both showing regular trading of its own goods or services; and
• Has at least 2 UK based employees who are not its directors
No, this has been removed from April 2019
Switching to Tier 1 investor visa category only possible from these categories:Tier 1 (General) , Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 2 migrant, Tier 4 migrant.
Investor visa applicants do not get preferential treatment to apply for citizenship.They must naturalize under ordinary citizenship rules.
The legal requirements you should meet before you apply are that you: