High Net Worth individuals - Investors
The UK Investor visa scheme was a highly attractive immigration category but closed to new applicants in February 2022. A replacement scheme is due to open in 2023 however exact details are not yet known.
The UK Investor visa scheme scheme allowed an investor and their family to live in the UK if they have funds of at least £2million.
Unlike virtually all other immigration categories, there is no English language requirement at entry stage and investors and their family are allowed to work, establish a business, and study.
Some of the key requirements:
- Funds of at least £2million;
- Minimum age of 18 for the investor visa holder;
- Funds held consistently for two years prior to application, or supply specific evidence of the source of funds;
- Must have a UK bank account at the date of application – which includes a wealth management organisation regulated by the FCA/PRA;
- Funds do not have to be in the UK at the date of application but must be freely transferrable to the UK;
- The investor can bring their spouse/partner and any children under the age of 18 with them without any additional investment;
- Fast track routes to Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) if you invest £5million or £10million;
- Funds must remain invested until the grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain;
- Absences from the UK of no more than 180 days per year for Indefinite Leave to Remain;
- Test of knowledge of English language and life in the UK at the Indefinite Leave to Remain stage.
Normally, it takes five years to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK which can then lead to British Citizenship one year later. However one feature of the investor category is that if an applicant invests more, they can obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain earlier. The time period is shortened to only three years with an investment of £5million, or two years with an investment of £10million. It should be noted that this reduced timescale only applies to the investor, not necessarily to dependants, who must usually complete five years residence before obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain. For an investor on the £5million or £10million route, British Citizenship can then be obtained after five years residence, instead of six.
The investor category has been the subject of recent Home Office scrutiny, having been amended significantly on four occasions in just over five years. Most recently the Home Office removed the ability to invest in UK Government bonds for those who apply after 28 March 2019. We anticipate more changes in this area. Staying abreast of the changes in rules around the investor category and alternative routes to immigration is critical and one of the core reasons clients value our expertise.
We regularly advise high net worth clients on immigration applications and appeals. Sources quoted in the Legal 500 say that the team is “unrivalled in terms of their strategic and tactical thinking about the conduct of their clients’ cases“ and by Spear’s that Kathryn Bradbury “probably handles more Tier 1 investor visas than any solicitor in this country”
The Citizenship & Immigration department works closely with our Private Client department to ensure that the immigration options take into account the best tax planning strategy for our clients. We also work alongside other professional advisors such as investment managers, accountants, property and educational consultants to provide a comprehensive service.