This scheme replaced the previous Investor visa in June 2008. Under the new rules, in order to obtain the Investor visa, applicants need to score 75 points for attributes. They do not need to meet the English language and maintenance requirements, which apply to almost all other categories under the new Points Based System.
The Tier 1 Investor visa category was reviewed by the Migration Advisory Committee and their report was published on 28 February 2014. As a result of the report, the following changes were made to the immigration rules which became effective from the 6th of November 2014.
- Increase in minimum investment threshold from £1 million to £2 million;
- Full investment of this amount in shares or loan capital in active and trading UK companies, or UK Government bonds, rather than 75% of the sum;
- The current requirement that the migrant’s investment must be “topped up” if its market value falls is being removed; instead Tier 1 (Investor) Migrants will only need to purchase new qualifying investments if they sell part of their portfolios and need to replace them in order to maintain the investment threshold;
- The existing provision under which the required investment sum can be sourced as a loan is being removed;
- Transitional arrangements are being applied, so that Tier 1 (Investor) Migrants who have already entered the route before these changes are introduced will not be subject to these changes when they apply for extensions or for indefinite leave to remain;
- Entry Clearance Officers and UK Visas & Immigration caseworkers are being empowered to refuse a Tier 1 (Investor) application if they have reasonable grounds to believe that:
- the applicant is not in control of the investment funds;
- the funds were obtained unlawfully (or by means which would be unlawful if they happened in the UK);
- the character, conduct or associations of a party providing the funds mean that approving the application is not conducive to the public good.
The Tier 1 Investor category is designed for high net worth individuals who are willing to invest at least £1,000,000 (£2,000,000 from 6 November 2014) of their capital in the United Kingdom’s Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading United Kingdom registered companies, of their own money under their own control.
The Tier 1 Investor category gives applicants full right to live in the UK for 3 years, which can be extended for a further 2 years in the future. Once a Tier 1 Investor visa holder completes 5 years under the Tier 1 Investor category, they can apply for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence).
Alternatively, it is possible to obtain permanent residence after 2 or 3 years if the investor visa holder invests £5,000,000 or £10,000,000 in the UK. A Tier 1 Investor visa holder is allowed to be outside the UK for more than 180 days every year during the continuous residence period.
It is not required to meet the English language requirement.
Tier 1 (General)
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
Tier 1 (Post-study work)
Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur)
Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
work permit holder
writer, composer or artist
You invested £2,000,000 in the UK for 5 years and have spent continuous period lawfully in the UK, with absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during that period.
You invested £5,000,0000 in the UK for 3 years and have spent continuous period lawfully in the UK, with absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during that period
You invested £10,000,0000 in the UK for 2 years and have spent continuous period lawfully in the UK, with absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during that period.