Tier 1 Investor Visa

The Tier 1 Investor Visa is designed to allow high net worth individuals make a substantial financial investment in the United Kingdom. Unlike the work permit scheme, you do not need a job offer to apply under the investor category. When you apply you are awarded points based on your ability to invest £2,000,000 in the United Kingdom. 

Applicants will not need to meet the separate requirement for maintenance (funds) that applies to most other applicants under the points based system. This is because they will have met the attributes (main requirements) for this category and shown their ability to support themselves in the United Kingdom without needing help from public funds.

Points available for initial entrants under Tier 1 (Investor) are included in the table below. This table applies to all applicants seeking:

  • entry clearance in this category who did not have leave in this category within the last 12 months; and

  • further, leave to remain in the United Kingdom in this category when their previous permission to stay was given under a category other than Tier 1 (Investor) or the former Investor category.

Attributes (pass mark = 75 points)


A) The applicant has money of his own, under his control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the United Kingdom amounting to no less than £2 million; and

B) The applicant has money under his control held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the United Kingdom amounting to no less than £2million.

All of your £2 million funds must be freely transferable to the UK and able to be converted to pounds sterling. Many countries have controls over the transfer of currency and we must, therefore, ensure that the money can be transferred to the UK. If your money is not already in the UK you must provide confirmation that the money can be transferred into the UK if your application is successful. The evidence for this is set out in the section on specified evidence. 

You must pay particular attention to any international financial sanctions regimes which may affect your ability to move money into the United Kingdom, and you must provide evidence with your application that you have sought and gained any necessary approval to freely transfer your funds to the UK. If you are subject to financial sanctions, and you do not provide additional proof from the relevant official body, such as HM Treasury, that you are authorised to transfer funds to the United Kingdom, your funds cannot be regarded as freely transferable and your application will be refused. Information on the financial sanctions regimes operated by the UK can be found at the HM Treasury website.


A refusal of an entry clearance application as a Tier 1 Investor is challenged by way of Administrative Request to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM). If the refusal is maintained by the Entry Clearance Manager, then the same can be challenged by way of Judicial Review in High Court. Upon successful application, the applicant is granted leave to enter for 3 years and 4 months.

You can apply under the investor category now if you are:

  1. In the United Kingdom and want to make an initial application as an investor (known as switching).

  2. Already in the United Kingdom as a Tier 1 Investor or as an investor under the former category, and want to extend your permission to stay within the Tier 1 Investor category

  3. Applying for permission to enter the United Kingdom (known as 'entry clearance') under the investor category.

What you can do and what you cannot do under this category:‚Äč

  1. You can invest £2,000,000 or more in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and the trading UK registered companies. You will be able to work or study in the UK. 

  2. You can apply for indefinite leave to remain after 2 years, if you invest £10 million or after 3 years if you have invested £5 million. 

  3. You can’t invest in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development or work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.

Extending your leave to remain:

  1. There has been a number of immigration changes as well as changes to the specified documents required.

  2. If you have been granted leave to remain prior to the changes in 6th of November 2014, there are certain rules which apply to your extension of leave as well as your application to become a settled person. 

  3. Where an application was lodged on or after 6th of November 2014, new rules apply. 

Investor visas & indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

The length of time required to qualify for ILR/permanent residence depends on the amount of investment, as follows:

  • Investment of £2 Million

As an investor, you will qualify for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after five years, provided that you have invested £2,000,000 in the UK.

  • Investment of £5 million

If you invest £5,000,000 you will be able to apply for ILR after the investment has been in place for three years.

  • Investment of £10 million

If you invest £10,000,000 you will be able to apply for ILR after the investment has been in place for at least two years.
In order to qualify for settlement (ILR) investors are not permitted to spend more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 calendar month period.

Switching into the investor visa category

Holders of one of the following visa categories are eligible to switch into the Tier 1 Investor category while remaining in the UK.

  • A highly skilled migrant

  • A Tier 1 (General) migrant

  • A Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant

  • A Tier 1 (Post – Study Work) migrant

  • A Tier 2 migrant

  • A Business Person

  • An Innovator

  • A Tier 4 student

  • A student

  • A student nurse

  • A student re-sitting an examination

  • A student writing up a thesis

  • A Work Permit holder

  • A writer, composer or artist

  • An Investor

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At ICS Legal we can advise, provide expert support in preparing your application for the Tier 1 Investor visa, and we will ensure the legal requirements are met. There is no right to appeal against a refusal of a Tier 1 visa following the implementation of the Immigration Act 2014 changes. Call our team today on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us your details on info@icslegal.com

ICS Legal has over years of experience. We made a commitment to offer businesses of all sizes, and people and families from all walks of life, access to experienced immigration professionals and support around the world — no matter what stage you’re at in your journey.

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