The United Kingdom has long been seen as a safe country for Investors – a normally stable political system and a clear transparent legal system. The Tier 1 (Investor) visa allows foreign nationals to reside in the UK so long as they invest at least 2 million into a UK registered trading company.
Investor visas are on the rise. During 2020, a total of 216 Investor visas were issued. The majority of these visas were issued to Chinese nationals. It is estimated that this number will go up to approximately 260 for 2021.
For most Chinese nationals, the ability to relocate to the UK can open many doors or opportunities. Children are able to attend UK schools without having to obtain additional visas (see here the UK visa system). The Investor and their spouse or partner are also able to work, set up businesses or study themselves.
For those interested in the Tier 1 (Investor) visa, here are some key bullet points for you:
- The applicant must have at least £2 million available to invest. The investment funds do not need to be held in GBP they can be in a foreign currency. The home office will use the spot exchange rate on www.oanda.com on the date of your application to convert the funds to GBP.
- The funds must legally belong to the applicant or the applicant's spouse or partner.
- The funds do not have to be in the UK when you apply, and you don’t have to have had the funds for two years prior to the date of application but you do may need to show where the funds came from if you haven't held the funds for at least two years.
- You do need to open an account with an FCA regulated institution as part of the application process.
- Investments must be made into a UK registered and active trading company by way of share or loan capital. There are investment restrictions so please do seek legal advice.
- The Tier 1 Investor visa does lead to settlement.
- There are residence requirements - you can't spend more than 180 days outside the UK during any rolling 12 months period the relevant period.
- There is no English requirement!
In the year of the Tiger, we wish all our clients and contacts a very happy and prosperous year.