Northman & Sterling

Invest, Relocate, Thrive – The UK Investor Visa

The United Kingdom has always been an enticing destination for international investors, and the Tier 1 (Investor) Program offers a pathway for investors and their families to enter or remain in the UK by making a significant financial investment in the country’s economy.

The Tier 1 (Investor) Program is tailored for high-net-worth individuals who have access to a minimum of £2,000,000. This program allows for a substantial investment in share capital or loan capital of actively trading UK companies.

Initially, the Tier 1 (Investor) visa is granted for a duration of 3 years and 4 months (or 3 years if processed within the UK). An extension can be sought, provided all eligibility criteria are met. Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent settlement) can be achieved after holding a Tier 1 (Investor) visa for 5 years and maintaining a £2 million investment. For those with larger investments, accelerated settlement options are available, such as achieving ILR after 2 years with a £10 million investment or 3 years with a £5 million investment.

One notable feature of this program is the absence of an English language qualification requirement initially. However, when applying for indefinite leave to remain, meeting an English language requirement becomes necessary.

Moreover, individuals already in the UK under Tier 1, 2, or 4 of the points-based system have the option to switch to the Tier 1 (Investor) category.

Eligibility Requirements for the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa

When seeking a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Possess a minimum of £2,000,000 in investment funds, maintained continuously for two years.
  • Provide evidence that the investment funds are under your ownership.
  • Open a UK bank account, subject to due diligence checks and Know Your Customer inquiries.
  • No English language requirements or tests are needed for the initial application.
  • No individual maintenance requirements apply.

For those not planning to settle in the UK, there are no residency requirements initially. You can extend your visa for an additional two years. However, those aiming for permanent residency (ILR) must meet specific UK residency requirements.

The regulations surrounding investment funds can be intricate and challenging to navigate. The Home Office will reject applications if there isn’t sufficient evidence proving the applicant’s ownership of the investment funds or if the funds are not accessible for use in the UK.

Investment Options:

You have the flexibility to:

  • Invest £2,000,000 or more in share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies (excluding investment in UK government bonds, to encourage diversification of investments).
  • Work or study in the UK.
  • Apply for settlement after 2 years if you invest £10 million.
  • Apply for settlement after 3 years if you invest £5 million.
  • Apply for settlement after 5 years if you invest £2 million.
  • Bring your family with you or have them join you later during your visa term.


You cannot:

  • Invest in companies primarily involved in property investment, property management, or property development (although investment in construction-related companies is allowed).
  • Work as a professional sportsperson, sports coach, or dentist.
  • Receive public funds.

Processing Times:

Here’s what you need to know about processing times:

  • The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your intended travel.
  • Priority Service may be available for entry clearance applications, resulting in a decision within 10–15 days.
  • Standard processing times for entry clearance applications are approximately 3 weeks, while applications submitted within the UK currently have a processing time of approximately 8–12 weeks.

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