The United Kingdom started offering an immigration option for foreign investors in 1994. In 2008, UK introduced a point-based system that offered Tier1 Entrepreneur and Tier1 Investor visas. In 2019, British immigration authorities stopped processing applications for UK passports by investment visas. They were able to extend only already issued permits. A new type of visa was launched for investors who want to start their own company in the UK, known as the Innovator visa. Since the introduction of visas for long-term stays in 2000, the immigration rules for investors from outside the EU have changed multiple times. If you have spent some years in the UK using UK passport by investment, visas for investors, or innovation, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residency. In one year, you will be a permanent resident and can submit a request in the process for British citizenship. Let us take a look at what you will need to do to be eligible for buying UK citizenship. Moreover, you are also welcome to get details about Scotland citizenship by investment from our seasoned lawyers.
If you would like to buy a property in UK and get citizenship, we recommend you talk to our UK immigration solicitors and see the conditions imposed on foreigners. Citizenship by investment in the UK comes with a series of visa requirements, among which the investment criteria must be respected. Besides obtaining citizenship by investment in UK, you can also get in touch with our solicitors for other related matters that require legal assistance. For instance, if you want to apply for residency by investment in UK, our immigration solicitors in London can guide you.
Table of Contents
Apply for a Tier 1 investor visa
The Tier 1 investor visa can be gained by non-EU/EEA citizens who intend to make investments in UK and gain citizenship. The main requirement for gaining such a visa is to make at least GBP 2 million investments. Here are other essential conditions to apply for citizenship by investment in UK:
- The applicant for Tier 1 visa for investors must be at least 18 years of age;
- A bank account in UK must be opened for depositing investments;
- The applicant must spend the capital in UK;
- The source of the financial investment must be legal. The British authorities can make complete verifications in this matter.
There is no restriction for family members and dependents, meaning that the visa applicant can apply on their behalf too. It is important to note that this kind of capital can be invested in government bonds or other companies registered in the UK. Further details on this topic can be discussed with our immigration solicitors in London, who can help foreigners with buying UK citizenship. Before obtaining citizenship, a foreign citizen must first obtain UK residency.
Requirements for Tier 1 investor visa
A series of conditions must be respected for obtaining a Tier 1 visa for investors as a foreigner. A valid passport, a clear criminal record, marriage or civil partnership certificate are the necessary documents that must be provided for this kind of visa application. The British authorities will also solicit a tuberculosis test for citizens from countries like Thailand, Ukraine, Haiti, Algeria, or China, to give a few examples. The application for a Tier 1 visa for investors in UK is relatively straightforward and can be issued in approximately 3 weeks if the documents are accepted. The entire visa application process can be overseen from a legal point of view by one of our immigration lawyers in London. For foreign people wishing to reside and work in the UK, there are a variety of visas and permits available. For instance, work and business visas allow persons to enter the nation to work for a company that is registered in the UK, to start a business that will trade there, or to invest in a UK firm. If you are interested to learn more about family visas, student visas, or refugee visas, get in touch with our lawyers. Our immigration lawyers can help you relocate to UK.
In addition to the requirements for a Tier 1 investor visa, you can also interact with our knowledgeable lawyers if you have any queries about Scotland citizenship by investment. Our lawyers will provide you with comprehensive guidance in this matter.
What are the benefits of the investor visa in UK?
Citizenship by investment in UK is possible for those who apply for this kind of visa. A passport can be issued in about 5 or 6 years, and the entire family gains citizenship. There are also other essential advantages for Tier 1 visa for investors in UK:
- Besides enjoying great standards of living in UK, healthcare and education are on top of the list;
- There are many business advantages, if you are interested in buying UK citizenship;
- There is visa-free access to more than 164 countries if you acquire UK passport by investment;
- The taxation regime is quite beneficial for those making investments in UK.
In addition to the details about citizenship by investment in UK, our solicitors can also guide you to the other possible options of acquiring citizenship in this country.
Eligibility for visa Tier 1 (investor)
To be eligible for this Tier 1 investor visa to be granted at your disposal towards citizenship by investment in the UK, you must meet the visa eligibility conditions. You must have a minimum of £2 million to invest in the UK and must be at least 18 years old. You do not have to meet any English requirements to obtain an investor visa; however, this is required when you apply later in the future for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and citizenship.
The strict rules apply to citizenship by investment in UK funds.
- The amount of investment relied on to fill out the application must be put into an account in a UK licensed bank. The amount must be in sterling pounds. You must show that the funds belong to you or your spouse, or other partners, whether married or not, and that the money is accessible and can be used within the UK;
- It must be invested in a trading company registered with the UK. It is not stored in any property or assets;
- Not later than 90 days after you have received your visa, the money is required to be invested in shares or loan capital of an active trading company. That can be registered with UK and must keep the citizenships by investment in UK of at minimum £2 million in place throughout your visa. However, it is permissible to withdraw the income through investments;
- It is essential to take your time when evaluating these citizenships by investment in UK since certain types of investments are not permitted in terms of the visa, like investment in specific property companies or open-ended investment corporations or OEICs.
For further information in this matter, you are welcome to interact with our immigration solicitors in London.
Application for citizenship by investment in UK
The most important feature for the investor buying UK citizenship visa is that it could result in citizenship for visa holders and their dependents on the visa within a shorter time period than other UK categories of visas. A person who holds the UK passport by investment visa may apply to reside in the UK under indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after the expiration of a specific period. This period of eligibility varies based on the amount that has been invested in the UK. If you have:
- Continue to keep the citizenships by investment in UK in the original £2 million investment, and you may make an application for ILR within five years;
- Increase your investment up to £5 million. You can make an application to ILR in three years;
- Make sure you invest at least £10 million. You can apply for ILR after two years.
After twelve months of ILR, you are eligible for naturalization as a British citizen. To apply, you need to:
- Have resided in the UK for at least five years;
- Were physically present in UK precisely on that date five years before the date of the application;
- Must not have been outside the UK more than 450 days during the period of residential qualifying;
- Not have been out of the UK longer than 90 days during the last 12 months.
We invite you to interact with our immigration law firms in London. Our knowledgeable lawyers will provide you with comprehensive legal assistance regarding citizenship by investment in UK.
Advantages of obtaining UK citizenship
Foreign investors can trust that the UK economy is always in the top five countries with the most appealing investment opportunities. The British economy is resilient to financial turmoil. The centuries-old traditions of entrepreneurialism and a well-developed transport infrastructure government support for small and medium-sized companies and huge markets provide plenty of opportunities to make a profit.
Other benefits, aside from financial ones, foreign investors get:
- Peace and security and secure living conditions;
- Higher education and top schools;
- Quality healthcare and social guarantee;
- By buying UK citizenship, you get a stable banking system that allows you to increase and secure your savings;
- British passport within 5-6 years for the investor and his/her family members;
- Visa-free access to all 184 countries.
If you are looking out for some additional benefits, you can rely on our UK immigration lawyers. They will provide you with all relative information you need.
When do I obtain British citizenship?
UK citizenship is granted after living at least 6 years in UK as a foreigner with a Tier 1 investor visa and minimum investments of at least GBP 2 million. First, one must apply for indefinite leave to remain after living 5 years in the UK. After 6 years in the country, the citizenship application is possible. The whole procedure related to citizenship can be explained by one of our London immigration solicitors, who can also explain the formalities.
The innovator visa for UK
An investment of at least GBP 50,000 for a new business in UK can be made by foreigners who want to settle in the country. Citizenship by investment in UK presents the same conditions for this kind of visa, meaning that after settlement, the application for naturalization is permitted after living 6 years in UK. The innovator visa program allows one or two business partners in UK. Once gaining British citizenship, the UK passport is also issued. This document is quite important and comes with a series of advantages.
Here are some facts and figures about UK immigration:
- According to the Office for National Statistics in UK, more than 313,000 citizens moved to UK during March 2019-March 2020;
- Around 437,000 non-EU citizens entered the UK during the same period, intending to stay at least one year;
- In the case of EU citizens, nearly 195,000 entered UK during the same period, intending to stay for more than just 12 months in the country.
Interested in more about citizenship by investment in UK? We suggest you contact our team of immigration solicitors in London and see how they can help you from a legal point of view. Our immigration solicitors can help you get Scotland citizenship by investment. Their legal assistance can help you get through the process of relocation efficiently.