Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension
The first investor visa you are issued by the Home Office is valid for 3 years and 4 months. Provided you meet certain eligibility criteria, you may be able to extend your stay in the UK on this visa for an extra 2 years.
In 2019, new rules were effected regarding investor visa extension, setting more stringent requirements for extension applications than the original visa application. Thus, the investor visa extension process is now highly involved and requires you to submit extensive documentation as evidence of your investment activity in the UK.
Failure to provide comprehensive evidence of your activities in the UK may lead to delay or outright denial of your extension application. Hence, it is essential that you keep all your documents up to date and get advice from expert immigration attorneys to guide you through the hurdles.
- Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension
- Eligibility Criteria for Investor Visa Extension
- Settlement through investor visa extension
- Requirements to apply for ILR
- Supporting Documents needed for UK investor Visa Extension
- How to extend your visa
- Visa extension processing times
- Application Costs
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Visa granted before 6th November 2014
If your visa was granted before the 6th of November 2014, you can apply for a visa extension if you:
- Control an amount of at least £1 million in the UK
- Invested at least 75% of this amount (£750,000) in UK government bonds, share or loan capital in active UK companies
- Invested the required sum within three months of your investor start date
Visa granted on or after 6th November 2014
If your investor visa was granted after November 6 2014, you can apply for an extension if you:
- Control at least £2 million in the UK
- Invested the funds in share or loan capital in eligible UK companies
- Invested the funds within three months of your investor start date
What does it mean for funds to be under your control?
When applying for a UK investor visa extension, you must provide evidence that you have invested a certain minimum account in trading UK-registered companies and that these funds are under your control. This implies that:
- The money belongs to you or your partner, or both of you together; OR
- The money was loaned to you by a UK-regulated financial institution, and you have personal assets of at least £2 million.
If you were granted your visa before 6th November 2014, you are not allowed to mix the two funding sources. All of the money much be yours or from a loan. If your visa was granted on or after the 6th of November 2014, all the money you invested must be yours or your partner’s.
Investor start date requirement
Investor start date refers to the day you entered the UK for the first time on an investor visa or the day your investor visa was issued to you in the UK after switching from a different visa category. Before applying for an extension, you must provide evidence of when you invested your money.
As part of your application, you must provide investment portfolio reports issued by a UK-regulated financial institution. These documents must show that:
- You invested the required amount in the required investments (depending on when your visa was granted) within three months of your investor start date
- You maintained the level of investment throughout your time in the UK
Settlement through investor visa extension
A major advantage of extending your investor visa is that it offers you a path towards settlement in the UK. After five years of living in the UK, you will qualify to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK. However, you may qualify to apply for ILR earlier than five years if you invest higher amounts.
Before applying for ILR, you must meet the residence requirements. Your qualifying period starts on the date your initial application for an investor visa was approved. Any time spent on a different visa in the UK will not count towards the residence requirements. You may begin your application for ILR at most 28 days before you reach the qualifying period.
Visas issued before 6th November 2014
If your visa was issued before 6th November 2014, you will need to demonstrate to UK Visas and Immigration that you:
- have invested for at least two consecutive years in an amount of at least £10 million, three consecutive years in an amount of at least £% million, or five consecutive years in an amount of at least £1 million
- Have no eligible absences during the selection period
- be able to pass the Life in the UK test (where applicable) and have satisfactory English language proficiency (at least B2 level)
You must submit your application for settlement by April 5, 2022.
Visas issued between 6th November 2014 and 28th March 2019
The following conditions must be met in order to submit an application for indefinite leave to remain if your visa was issued during this period:
- You have at least £2 million in the UK in your account
- You have made investments in the UK by purchasing government bonds, lending money to or purchasing shares of active and publicly traded UK companies
- You have maintained the level of investment for the entirety of the visa
- You spent $10 million over a two-year period, $5 million over a three-year period, or $1 million over a five-year period
- You didn’t take any qualifying absences throughout the required time period.
- You have attained the qualifying level of proficiency in English, and you passed the Life in the UK test (where applicable)
Visa issued on or after 29th March 2019
The criteria are the same for visas that were issued between November 6, 2014, and March 28, 2019, if you request indefinite leave to remain based on one that was issued after that date.
The primary difference is that the funds aren’t invested in UK government bonds. You could be qualified to apply for British citizenship if you have had indefinite leave to remain for a year.
Supporting Documents needed for UK investor Visa Extension
When applying for a UK investor visa extension, you will need to provide the following supporting documents which include:
- A valid travel document, such as a passport. A blank page in your passport is required for your visa
- Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
- A criminal history certificate from any country you have visited for a total of 12 months or longer over the last 10 years
- Investment portfolio reports prepared by a UK-licenced financial institution demonstrate that you have completed the qualifying criteria for investments and have kept your investments in place during your visa
Any documents that aren’t written in English or Welsh must be translated and certified.
How to extend your visa
To apply for a UK investor visa extension, you must apply online. When you apply, you will be required to schedule an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service centre to submit your biometric data (your fingerprints and a photo).
Also, you must send your supporting documentation. You can upload them into the UK online service or scan them at your UKVCAS appointment.
Until you receive a decision, you cannot leave the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. Doing so will result in the withdrawal of your application.
Visa extension processing times
Generally, you should expect a decision from UK Visa & Immigration regarding your Tier 1 Investor visa extension application within 8 weeks of the application’s submission date if you use their basic service. In most cases, you will receive a decision within five working days of your UKVCAS appointment if you submit your application using the priority service.
Applicants must pay the following fees in order to extend their UK Investor Visa:
- Visa extension fee: £1,623
- Immigration healthcare surcharge: £624 yearly
- Biometric information fee: £19.20
The priority decision service, which costs £500, is available if you want your application to be decided on more quickly. However, this service is optional and not compulsory.
At Total Law, our team of highly experienced immigration lawyers is well-versed in all types of UK visas and UK immigration laws. Since new applications for investor visas are closed, we will help you access your eligibility and see you through the process of applying for a UK investor visa extension.
If you already have an investor visa and are thinking of an extension or applying for indefinite leave to remain, we can help simplify the process. We will help you appraise your time in the UK and determine that you meet the criteria for an extension. We will also help you gather all supporting documents to make your journey seamless.
Reach out to us today at (+353) 061 518 025 to speak to an experienced immigration attorney.
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Yes, you must include any dependents who hold a valid visa while applying for an extension. This also applies to children who turned 18 while you were in the UK.
You should apply for your UK investor visa extension before your current leave expires. If you submitted your application prior to the expiration of your visa, you might be allowed to remain in the UK while it is being reviewed.