Investor Visa

    Investor Visa

    The Tier 1 (Investor Visa) is a legal document which allows high net worth individuals from overseas to live in the UK, if they invest £2 million or more of their money into the UK.

    Nicknamed the ‘golden visa’, the Investor Visa is a fast-track to residency in the UK, because the applicant is contributing a sizeable amount of money to benefit the UK economy.

    The idea behind the visa is to attract international investors, who can invest in the UK and help stimulate economic growth.

    UPDATE: The Investor Visa is scrapped

    As of 17 February 2022, the UK is no longer accepting applications for the Investor Visa.

    The Home Secretary at the time, Priti Patel, announced an end to the visa scheme, as part of a “renewed crackdown on illicit finance and fraud”.

    In essence, the Investor Visa was scrapped due to concerns about national security threats and fears that people were abusing the visa to commit crimes, such as money laundering.

    The Investor Visa scheme underwent many amendments ever since its introduction in 2008, but now, the scheme has fully shut down.

    Applications for the Investor Visa are now closed for applicants of all nationalities.

    What about applicants who applied for an Investor Visa before 17 February 2022?

    Any applicants who applied online for an Investor Visa and paid the visa fees before 4pm GMT on 17 February 2022, will have still had their applications considered as per the existing rules at the time of their application.

    What about people who are already in the UK on an Investor Visa before 17 February 2022?

    Individuals on an Investor Visa in the UK before 17 February 2022 could still remain in the UK as per their visa rules. Any important information is communicated from the Home Office.

    What if I made an application for an Investor Visa, but the scheme closed before I could submit my application?

    Any applications made after 4pm GMT on 17 February 2022 are void and will not be considered. Applicants will have to search for an alternative route.

    What is an alternative to the Investor Visa route?

    Now that the Investor Visa has been scrapped, one alternative that individuals may wish to apply for instead is the Global Talent Visa.

    Formerly called the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, this visa is now referred to as the Global Talent Visa UK instead.

    This is a visa route that allows talented individuals to stay in the UK for up to 5 years at a time if they are a leader or potential leader in academia, research, arts and culture, or digital technology.

    Applicants must be endorsed by an endorsing body which is recognised as an expert in their field.

    Click here to learn more about Global Talent Visas and find out how our expert team at Synergy Immigration Solutions can help you submit an application with the best chances of success.

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    How do you apply for an Investor Visa?

    As of 17 February 2022, you can no longer apply for an Investor Visa.

    When the scheme was open, all applications were made online and processed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

    Applicants had to submit their personal details and supporting documents to go with their application. They also had to submit evidence that they had at least £2 million in funds, which could be invested in the UK.

    How long could you stay in the UK on an Investor Visa?

    As of 17 February 2022, the Investor Visa scheme is no longer running.

    The Investor Visa allowed individuals to stay in the UK for up to 3 years and 4 months.

    Individuals on an Investor Visa were also able to apply to extend their visa for 2 years.

    Who is eligible for an Investor Visa?

    The scheme has shut down as of February 2022, but when it was open, all applicants had to fulfil these conditions:

    • Over the age of 18
    • Must not have any criminal convictions
    • Must have at least £2 million, which is disposable (free to spend) in the UK.
    • Must prove that the money belongs to you, or your spouse.
    • Must be willing to invest the money in the UK.
    • Must have opened a bank account in the UK to use the funds.
    • Must invest the money within 90 days of arriving within the UK.

    What could someone on an Investor Visa invest in?

    The Investor Visa scheme closed in February 2022.

    Individuals on an Investor Visa could only invest in ventures that meet the criteria set out by the UK Government.

    Someone on an Investor Visa could invest in:

    • An active, UK-registered, trading company (not dormant, must have a registered office in the UK, and must have a UK bank account with recent transactions and payment of taxes)
    • UK Corporate Bonds (share capital or loan capital)
    • UK Government Bonds (UPDATE: no longer a viable option, as of 29 March 2019).

    Investments cannot be made in:

    • Offshore companies
    • Property investment or property development
    • Investment syndicate companies
    • Investment trust companies
    • Open-ended investment companies
    • Pooled investment vehicles

    What are the benefits of an Investor Visa?

    Before the Investor Visa scheme came to an end in February 2022, individuals could enjoy a whole host of benefits from being in the UK on the visa, such as:

    • Living in the UK for up to 3 years and 4 months.
    • Extending the stay and settling permanently in the UK, without being subject to any immigration restrictions.
    • Being fast-tracked to British citizenship.
    • Bringing partner and children as ‘dependents’ to the UK, if their applications were also accepted.
    • Witnessing the benefits of investing in UK companies (economic growth and financial gain).
    • Access to the NHS.
    • Access to the UK’s world-class education system.
    • Access to jobs and further investment opportunities.

    What supporting documents are needed to apply for an Investor Visa?

    The Investor Visa scheme is no longer running, as of February 2022.

    The cost was £1,623 to make the application for an Investor Visa. Applicants were also able to pay to get a faster decision on their application.

    There was also a healthcare surcharge which applicants had to pay.

    What supporting documents are needed to apply for an Investor Visa?

    The Investor Visa scheme has closed, as of February 2022.

    There are various supporting documents which applicants had to provide, alongside their application for an Investor Visa.

    These supporting documents included:

    • Valid passport, confirming the applicant’s identity.
    • Biometric information (photo and fingerprints).
    • Valid travel documentation.
    • Criminal record certificate.
    • Portfolio of investments.
    • Evidence of at least £2 million which is free to invest (e.g. bank statements).
    • Letter on headed paper from a regulated bank in the UK, confirming that the applicant has a bank account with them and that the bank has carried out checks for money laundering. The letter must have been dated within 3 months of the application date.
    • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable).
    • Certified translation of the applicant’s documents, if they are not in English or Welsh.

    What could an Investor Visa holder NOT do?

    The Investor Visa scheme is officially closed as of February 2022.

    There were rules in place which said that a holder of an Investor Visa could NOT:

    • Work as a professional sportsperson
    • Work as a sports coach
    • Claim public funds (benefits)
    • Work as a doctor or dentist in training, UNLESS they have a Medicine degree from a UK institution OR worked as a doctor/dentist in training the last time they were in the UK.

    Where can I get help on my visa application in the UK?

    Here at Synergy Immigration Solutions, we understand the complexity of the UK’s immigration laws and the issues that can arise during the application process. The UK’s immigration laws are constantly evolving, as we have just seen with the scrapping of the Investor Visa.

    That is why we offer a bespoke, personalised service to help individuals and businesses who are making immigration applications.

    We will liaise with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf- saving you time, effort, workload, and stress.

    We will also answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.

    We process all applications in an efficient and timely manner and keep our clients well-informed throughout the process.

    It is vital that the correct documentation is in place to ensure the application is approved.

    We would always recommend that you appoint a specialist such as Synergy Immigration Solutions to manage this process for you.

    Click here to contact Synergy Immigration Solutions and submit your query.

    Alternatively, email or call 020 315 05359. We will get back to you within 24 hours and we are more than happy to help.

    About Synergy Immigration Solutions

    We are a UK immigration agency, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). We are proud members of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association.

    To find out more about Synergy Immigration Solutions and our visa servicesvisit our website here.

    To contact us, call us on 020 315 05359, email or fill in our online contact form here.

    Read articles on our blog here, to find the answers to frequently asked questions about topics such as Global Talent Visas, student visas, skilled worker visas, right-to-work checks, and more.