After the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the Home Office received nearly double the number of applications for Tier 1 Investor visas. This is because Brexit has created favourable conditions for non-EEA nationals who wish to relocate to the UK, and SA Law can help you every step of the way.
What is a UK Tier 1 Investor visa?
A Tier 1 Investor visa is for individuals who wish to move to the UK, and who have £2 million or more to invest. The main restriction is that your money must be invested into qualifying UK investments such as Government bonds, share capital, or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
This visa enables you to live in the UK for three years and four months, followed by an extension of two years. During this period, you are permitted (but not obliged) to work, study or engage in business activities in the UK.
After five years, you can apply for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’, but this can be reduced to three years if you invest £5 million, and reduced to two years if you invest £10 million.
After five years of continuous residence in the UK, and having held Indefinite Leave to Remain for one year, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
The perfect time to apply
The outcome of the Brexit referendum made living in the UK significantly more attractive for high net worth individuals. Most notably, the amount required to invest dropped considerably with the reduced value of the pound. By January 2017, a Tier 1 Investor visa was required to invest $450,000 less than the same day in 2016. The pound also depreciated against other currencies such as the Chinese Yuan, which may in part account for the highest proportion of Investor applicants from China in the twelve months up to March 2017.
Another reason for the rise in applications is the separation from the EU. Many non-EEA nationals took advantage of ‘golden visas’ from countries such as Malta and Cyprus, which offer much less onerous paths to residency and citizenship. Therefore, individuals could go through these easier processes to obtain an EU passport, and then reside in the UK under EEA law. However, with the likely end to free movement for EEA nationals, those who seek to take this route will, instead, need to apply under the UK investor regime in order to remain. That said, the UK regime may see some changes after Brexit to attract both non-EEA and EEA migrants, such as lowering the £2 million investment threshold or reducing residency requirements.
How do I apply, and why use legal representation?
Although you can apply directly, a qualified immigration lawyer can help you prepare an application that stands the highest possible chance of success first time round. This is particularly valuable if you have complex family or business interests as we can ensure these are presented to the UK Government in a clear way.
It's worth a quick chat
SA Law can help you to successfully relocate to the UK, and if you wish to become a British citizen. Contact us and we can explain more about how we can help you.