THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE UK IS AMONG THE MOST PRIZED DESTINATIONS FOR IMMIGRANT INVESTORS, WITH ITS COUNTLESS INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND HIGH STANDARD OF LIVING. THAT SAID, THE BREXIT VOTE HAS GENERATED A CERTAIN DEGREE OF WEARINESS REGARDING THE FUTURE OF VISA-FREE TRAVEL. THE COUNTRY’S TIER 1 INVESTOR VISA ENABLES IMMIGRANT INVESTORS TO GET ON THE FAST TRACK TO CITIZENSHIP.
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The visa application process in the UK is among the fastest in the world. The country offers world-class educational institutions, free health care services, and a tax system that may prove interesting for non-domicile high-net worth UK residents. It remains to be seen what repercussions the BREXIT vote will have on visa-free travel.
One of the requirements on the road to citizenship is a five-year investment of at least GBP 2 million (2.6 million USD). Only a few weeks are needed for visa processing and permanent residency can be acquired in as little as five years. The more you invest, the faster the process will be. For instance, by investing GBP 5 million (6.5 million USD), you acquire residency status after three years. By investing GBP 10 million (13.1 million USD), the process is cut down to only two years.
UK investment requirements are both stable and secure. These include investing a prescribed sum in government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. Offshore companies and property investments are not targeted by such requirements.
Furthermore, you can opt for a passive investment, with no obligation to show past experience in business management. There are no designated or off-limit areas for settling and you are not required to purchase a home.
Another option, which proves to be more affordable, but also more demanding, is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. In this case, you must make a GBP 50,000 (66,000 USD) or GBP 200,000 (263,000 USD) investment in a UK business, and you must play an active role in business operations.
One year after having acquired permanent residency or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you can obtain British citizenship and a passport under a series of strict residential requirements.
Immigrant investors must provide proof of their financial situation. The funds must be under your control and kept in a UK-regulated bank. Proof must be provided as to where the money comes from and where it is being kept. Relevant documentation, such as a marriage certificate, must also be provided should the funds belong, in whole or in part, to your spouse.
A three-month deadline to perform the investment also comes into effect as of your investor start date, after which you are given a 40-month Tier 1 Visa, which includes an optional 2-year extension for you and your family. Similar conditions apply to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. Furthermore, such immigrant investors are required to pay a healthcare surcharge.
The processing of your application takes anywhere from four to six weeks. The processing fees for you, your spouse and your dependents (under 18) are GBP 1,561 (2,052 USD) per person. However, by paying an extra service fee in the amount of GBP 10,500 (13,803 USD) and GBP 2,030 (2,668 USD) per person, you receive your visa the same day.
The Tier 1 Investor Visa is straightforward: it involves no personal interviews or medical exams (in most cases), and there are no English proficiency requirements. One year after acquiring the ILR, you can apply for a passport. It should be noted that your intent should be to settle in the UK. Foreign travel restrictions cap time outside the country to approximately three months per year.
Immigrant investor programs are sprouting up all around the world in the hopes of attracting foreign investors. Quantity does not, however, translate into quality. That said, keen expertise that is in tune with global changes and trends is an extremely valuable and crucial asset when engaging in such complex endeavours and when assessing the plethora of available options. Our immigrant investor programs simplify matters to enable you to make well-informed choices that are right for you, according to your specific needs and aspirations.