UK Investors

Investor  How do I qualify to travel to the UK as an Investor?
You will need to show that you:

  • intend to make the UK your main home
  • have not less than £1 million of your own money, which is under your control and disposable, that you intend to take to the UK
  • intend to invest not less than £750,000 of your £1 million capital, as per the restrictions detailed below
  • are able to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants without recourse to public funds or working as an employee

What type of investments can I make?
You may invest in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK companies. For example:

  • Unit Trusts: you can invest in a regulated collective investment scheme such as a unit trust provided that £750,000 of the funds are invested in companies which meet the requirements of the investor rules
  • Private companies: you must provide evidence of shareholding or loan certificates in the form of legal documents signed by or on behalf of the company

Investments must be made in your name as a general rule to be acceptable to the Home Office, who decide the suitability of applications.

What types of investment can I not make?
You may not invest in:

  • Property companies: The Immigration Rules refer to companies principally engaged in property investment. This means companies whose main function is to own or manage land or buildings. It does not include companies principally engaged in construction or, for instance, in manufacturing or retail which own their own premises such as hotels or departmental stores. However, once you have invested at least £750,000 of your capital as required you may invest the remaining £250,000 in property companies.
  • Offshore companies: Investment in or via offshore companies is not acceptable. You must invest your money in the United Kingdom. You may, however, invest your money in a United Kingdom subsidiary which is wholly owned by an offshore company, by means of loan capital, provided the company is registered in the United Kingdom and is active and trading and would be the direct beneficiary of the loan.
  • Banks and building societies: You may not keep your entire capital on deposit with a bank. Once you have invested at least £750,000 in the United Kingdom as required you may keep your remaining capital on deposit in the United Kingdom.

Can I re-invest my shares in different companies in the United Kingdom?
You can re-invest your shares provided the new investment meets the requirements of the Immigration Rules and you can provide evidence of your continuing investment.

Can my investments or assets count towards my capital in the United Kingdom?
Once you have invested at least £750, 000 of your capital as required, your remaining capital may include investments and major durable assets in the United Kingdom, such as unmortgaged property and significant works of art, provided they do not account for more than £250,000. Personal effects such as jewellery and antiques do not count as major assets unless it is clear that these items are held for purely investment purposes (valuation must reflect the actual, not insurance replacement, value).

Can the capital be in joint names?
Yes. The capital may be held in joint names of husband and wife if you, as the principal applicant, are to be accompanied by your spouse as a dependant and you both apply for entry clearance at the same time and you both have unrestricted rights of transfer and disposal. No other person should have a controlling interest in the money.

Must I make the United Kingdom my only home?
No. You should, however, spend more time in the United Kingdom than away from it to continue to qualify for limited leave to remain as an investor.

Can my family or I take employment?
You cannot work as an employee but you can engage in business or self-employment, such as a consultant or non-executive director.
Your spouse and dependent children, provided they have been given permission to accompany or join you, may take employment, within the existing employment legislation, for the duration of their permission to stay in the United Kingdom as your dependants.

Will I qualify for permanent residence?
You will be able to apply to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office for permanent residence if you:

  • have made the United Kingdom your main home throughout the four years
  • have spent a continuous period of four years in the United Kingdom as an investor. You will not be refused settlement because you have spent a short time outside the United Kingdom. You are expected to keep absences to a minimum; if you spend more time away from the UK than in it, this may result in you being granted further limited leave rather than permanent residence
  • have kept a capital sum of £1 million in the United Kingdom throughout that period and £750,000 of your capital has been invested as required
  • have maintained and accommodated yourself and any dependants without recourse to public funds or working as an employee

How do I qualify as a retired person of independent means?
You will need to show:

  • you are at least 60 years of age
  • you have an annual income of not less than £25,000 that is under your control and that you are able to transfer freely to the UK
  • evidence of any property in the UK
  • evidence that there are no regulations that would prevent you from transferring your money to the UK
  • that you are able and willing to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants indefinitely without working, assistance from anyone else or recourse to public funds
  • that you intend to make the UK your main home

If you are in doubt about the acceptability of your evidence please contact your nearest British diplomatic mission that provides a visa service for advice.

In addition to the financial requirements you will also need to show that you have a close connection with the UK.

How do I show I have a close connection with the UK?
The following may show a close connection to the UK:

  • you have close relatives in the UK
  • you have lived in the UK at any time
  • you have long service with a British company
  • you have long established business contacts in the UK

You should describe your circumstances in detail and provide any letters of support that you have at the time you make your application

Can my family join me in the UK?
Your spouse and children under 18 years of age may join you in the UK under the following provisions:

  • they hold a visa or entry clearance for this purpose
  • there is adequate maintenance and accommodation for them without recourse to public funds or taking employment

Do I need a visa?
You must obtain a visa before you travel to the UK. You should contact your nearest UK Overseas Mission with a visa section. If your nearest mission does not offer this service they will be able to advise you where to apply.

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