United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a preferred destination for investment and settlement for individuals from across the globe owing to the high standard of living, security and investor friendly environment. United Kingdom is also home to the headquarters of numerous multinational companies and has a highly developed banking system.

The United Kingdom has two main systems for individuals seeking to migrate to the United Kingdom:

(a) Tier 1: Investor Program

Keeping in mind the requirements of the Investors and the High Net worth Individuals, the United Kingdom has started a new Visa Regime called the ‘Tier 1 Investment Visa’ which ultimately enables the holder to obtain Permanent Residence in the United Kingdom for an indefinite duration.

The main criteria for obtaining a Tier 1 Investment Visa is the applicant holding a minimum of GBP 2 million under his control in a UK Bank ready to be invested in approved investments including Government Bonds, UK Registered Companies (except investments in property) for a minimum of 5 years.

The investor is expected to spend a large amount of time, i.e. around six months every year in the United Kingdom and he is initially provided at visa for 40 months. The visa can be extended if the condition of maintaining the investment of GBP 2 million is fulfilled.

(b) Tier 1: Entrepreneur Program

The Entrepreneur Program is targeted at individuals seeking to actively manage a Business in the United Kingdom. To be eligible for the program, the individual must fulfil the following conditions:

  • He must be declared eligible under a points based system to be classified as an entrepreneur.
  • An investment of GBP 200,000 must be made by the entrepreneur or an amount of GBP must be provided by a UK based Venture Capital Firm.
  • The applicant must have knowledge of English as evidenced by at least 4 points in the IELTS test.
  • He must be able to support himself and his dependents in the United Kingdom.
  • He must be registered as a director of a UK Based business to extend his visa.
  • He must be able to create a minimum of 2 two full time jobs in the United Kingdom.

The visa may be extended subject to the individual continuing to fulfil all the requirements at that time.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

An indefinite leave to remain can be obtained by both Investor and Entrepreneur Visa holders subject to fulfilment of certain conditions:

  • The individual must have a UK Resident Visa for a period of 5 years.
  • The individual must have spent a minimum of 50% of his time (6 out of 12 months) in the United Kingdom.
  • He has sufficient resources to support himself and his dependents in the United Kingdom.
  • Knowledge of English and UK Culture and society.

Under the Investor Visa category, The Government has also provided an option for obtaining an expedited Permanent residence by an ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) Permit in the United Kingdom. The Permit can be obtained by an increased investment as follows:

  • An investment of GBP 10 million enables the investor to obtain the permit after 2 years of settlement.
  • An investment of GBP 5 million enables the investor to obtain the permit after a period of 3 years of settlement.

Under normal circumstances the permit can only be obtained after 5 years of settlement. There are also other conditions and requirements for the Permanent Residency permits for the dependents and family members.

Citizenship in the United Kingdom

An individual also becomes eligible for citizenship by naturalisation in the United Kingdom after the expiry of a 5 year period with a resident visa subject to fulfilment of certain conditions:

  • The applicant must not have been out of the country for more than 3 months in the last year.
  • The total duration of stay outside the United Kingdom must not have exceeded 450 days in the last 5 years (75% of the time must have been spent in UK).
  • He must have knowledge of English and UK Culture and society.
  • He must pass an evaluation by the Government.

The duration of naturalisation can be different if the individual if he is married to a UK citizen and if he fulfils the required conditions.

Empire with its team of experts can assist you with the nuances of the program and customise your application for a permanent residence permit.

Note: This is not intended to be migration advice and detailed information is available on the UK Visas and Immigration website (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration).

No designation has been made by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for a Certificate of Special Competence in this area.