Unique Immigration Opportunity of a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa: How to Obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain after Two Years Only?

Have you thought about moving to the UK, getting an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and becoming a British citizen? If you have the means to invest in the British economy, the quickest immigration route for you will be a UK Tier 1 Investor visa.

This article will explain who can apply for a UK Tier 1 Investor visa, how to obtain it and what benefits it offers.

Who Can Apply for a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa?

Any foreign investor can apply for a UK Tier 1 Investor visa and get a permit to stay in the United Kingdom for a long time.

To apply for a UK Tier 1 Investor visa, you must be at least 18 years old and have a clean criminal record. You can add your spouse and minor children to the application. Children will be granted certain benefits that they will be able to use at any time.

You must also prove that you have enough money to invest. The minimum investment amounts to £2,000,000. Unlike other point-based immigration routes, you will not have to explain what you plan to do in the UK, set up a business or search for a job. This is one of the advantages of a UK Tier 1 Investor visa.

What Requirements Do I Have to Meet to Get a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa?

To get a UK Tier 1 Investor visa, you need to collect 75 points. For this, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The money must be held in your personal bank account and be readily transferrable to be used in the UK. It must be kept in your account for at least two years before investment. You must also provide evidence that the money is legally sourced.
  • You must open an account in one of the British banks so that you can invest at least £2,000,000 into the British economy.

The investment money can be either yours or your spouse’s. In the latter case, you must provide evidence that the money does belong to your spouse.

What Can I Invest In?

Currently, to get a UK Tier 1 Investor visa, you must invest in shares, assets or debt capital of one or several companies registered in the UK. Investment in government bonds is no longer available; it was stopped in 2019. Neither will a purchase of real estate be enough to grant you a UK Tier 1 Investor visa.

There are certain restrictions concerning the type of investment you can make. For example, foreigners cannot invest in unit investment trusts, real estate funds or offshore companies.

Documents for a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa

If you apply for a UK Tier 1 Investor visa, you need the following documents:

  • Passport or another ID document.
  • Criminal record certificate.
  • Negative tuberculosis test (check the requirements for your countries).
  • Documents proving that you have enough money to invest and that it is legally sourced.

As mentioned before, you can use either your or your spouse’s money to invest. The evidence you must provide varies depending on the source of funds.

Your money Your spouse’s money
  1. Bank account statement with the balance and location of the account.
  2. Source of money (if there were no account top-ups in the last three months).
  3. If you keep money in a foreign bank account, you must prove that you can transfer it to the UK and convert it into pounds.
  1. Marriage certificate. For unmarried couples, it is necessary to prove that they have been living together for at least two years.
  2. Your spouse’s permission for you to use their money in the UK.
  3. Letter prepared by a legal practitioner certifying the above permission.

All documents in a language other than English must be translated into English and notarised. Your passport must have at least two blank pages for the Home Office to stamp your UK Tier 1 Investor visa there.

Some additional documents may be required based on your circumstances.

Timeline for Obtaining a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa

You must apply for a UK Tier 1 Investor visa at least three months before coming to the UK. You can also submit your application while staying in the country.

For both categories of applicants, application processing will take from one and a half to two months. To accelerate the process, you can use Priority Service. In this case, the decision on your application will be made within five days for applicants staying in the UK and within three or four days for applicants outside the UK.

Extension of a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa

If you invest less than £5,000,000, you will have to extend your UK Tier 1 Investor visa for another two years after spending three years in the country. You must again get 75 points. For this, the following requirements must be met:

  • You must prove that when you applied for your UK Tier 1 Investor visa, you invested at least £2,000,000 in shares or capital of a UK-registered company that operates within the country.
  • You must prove that the investment was made within three months from the specified date.

If you recovered your investment, partially or fully, in the three years of stay on a UK Tier 1 Investor visa, you must provide evidence that you reinvested the sum according to the rules of this immigration route.

Indefinite Leave to Remain and Ways to Obtain It

If you invest from two to five million pounds, you can apply for ILR under the standard procedure after five years of staying in the UK and meeting immigration requirements. There is, however, an accelerated route for people who invested more than five or ten million pounds – they can apply for ILR three or two years after arriving in the UK, respectively.

To get an ILR, you must prove that during the five years of your stay in the country you have not spent abroad more than 180 days. You need to keep in mind that any consecutive 12 months can be chosen for random checks.

You and your dependants from 16 to 65 years of age must pass a B1 English test and the Life in the UK test.

Obtaining UK Citizenship

A year after getting ILR and five years after arriving in the UK on a UK Tier 1 Investor visa, you can apply for naturalisation and become a UK citizen.

For your application to be approved, you and your dependants must be in the country for the required period. During the five years of staying in the UK, you must not be abroad for more than 450 days. In 12 months before the application, you must not be away from the UK for more than 90 days.

The below table demonstrates the correlation between the amount of invested money and the time required to get an ILR and UK citizenship.

Investment (£) Indefinite Leave to Remain


2,000,000 – 5,000,000

After 5 years of stay

After 6 years of stay

5,000,000 – 10,000,000

After 3 years of stay

After 5 years of stay

10,000,000 and more

After 2 years of stay

After 5 years of stay

Advantages and Disadvantages of a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa

UK Tier 1 Investor visa has several advantages. Here are some of them:

  1. Application processing is quick, and the requirements are straightforward and clear.
  2. Applicants do not have to pass an English test and prove that they have money to support themselves in the UK. They just must have enough funds to invest.
  3. Applicants can add dependants to their applications.
  4. It is possible to get ILR and British citizenship quicker by increasing the amount of investment.
  5. The immigration route offers additional tools for tax planning.
  6. All applicants of a UK Tier 1 Investor visa and their dependants can set up a business, be employed or enrol into British educational institutions.

However, a UK Tier 1 investor visa has disadvantages as well. They include:

  1. Investment in companies that operate in the construction and real estate sectors is not allowed.
  2. Investors cannot apply for government support and social benefits.
  3. Investors cannot work as coaches or be professional sportspeople themselves.
  4. Activities as a doctor or dentist are not allowed either.

The latter restriction has exceptions. You will be able to work as a doctor or dentist on a UK Tier 1 Investor visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • You have as a minimum a bachelor’s degree in dentistry or medicine that you obtained from a British university.
  • You already have relevant experience working in the UK.

The restrictions of a UK Tier 1 Investor visa do not normally put off foreign investors, so this immigration route stays popular.

FAQ about UK Investor Visa

Why do I need a biometric residence permit?

A biometric residence permit (BRP) confirms that you have obtained the required UK visa and are allowed to stay in the UK as a resident.

According to British immigration rules, an investor must collect their BRP after entering the UK for the first time to be able to travel inside and outside the country.

Why do I need to start learning English if I get a UK Investor visa?

To obtain a UK Investor visa, you do not have to prove your knowledge of English.

The main requirement for this immigration route is to have enough resources to invest in the British economy. However, the English language may be required a bit later.

If you decide to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will need to speak English rather fluently to pass a test set by UK law. This would guarantee your easy integration into British society.

Do I need professional assistance to get a UK Investor visa?

To obtain a UK Investor visa, you need to prepare a lot of documents and invest a large sum of money into the British economy. It is very important to avoid even minor mistakes along the way.

Qualified immigration advisors have enough expertise to foresee the possible complications and reduce the accompanying risks. Their support will save you time and effort.

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