Moving to the UK as an Investor
The UK has a plethora of business and investment opportunities available to high net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs. The UK Investor Visa is a good option for investors looking to relocate to the United Kingdom. This business visa grants temporary residency in the UK but can also be used as a route to permanent settlement.
The UK attracts a lot of foreign investment, particularly in the financial services industry of which the UK is one of the global leaders. But there are many more investment opportunities in the UK in a variety of different sectors.
As long as you are investing in active trading businesses in the UK, you could be eligible for entry into the country under the UK Investor Visa. However, there are certain types of investments that are less likely to be able to lead to an Investor Visa. Our immigration lawyers offer expert legal advice and can help to ensure that your money is invested in a way that will support your application.
What is the UK Investor Visa?
The Investor Visa is a UK visa open to individuals who are able to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. This visa allows foreign investors to live in the UK for three years and four months and can be extended for a further two years.
The Investor Visa category can also be used as a route to permanent settlement in the United Kingdom if you are able to invest at least £2 million in the UK.
Although there is no direct UK citizenship by investment route, US investors can be eligible to apply for British citizenship after holding Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK for 12 months.
Whilst in the UK under an Investor Visa, US citizens can live, work and study in the country. However, they cannot work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach or get access to public funds.
How can US citizens be eligible for the UK Investor Visa?
The UK Investor Visa was created to attract investors, entrepreneurs and highly talented individuals to the UK with the intention that they will drive business and prosperity in the country. Unlike other UK work visas, you do not need to have a job offer in the UK to qualify for an Investor Visa and your application doesn’t need to be sponsored.
Instead, the eligibility for this visa is based mainly on your ability to be able to invest in UK businesses. Applicants must invest at least £2 million in the UK by way of UK share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies within their first three months in the United Kingdom.
As well as this, there are a few other requirements that US citizens must meet in order to be eligible, you must:
- Have opened a UK bank account or investment account
- Have investment funds that must be held in a regulated financial institution for at least 2 years prior to application
- Provide evidence that the funds were acquired legally and belong to the applicant or spouse
- Make the UK their main home and must spend at least 50% of their time in the UK
- Be at least 18 years old
- Provide a Criminal Record Certificate confirming they have no criminal convictions
Applying for a UK Investor Visa from the USA
You must apply for a UK Investor Visa online using the application form on the gov.uk website. You can apply from both inside and outside the UK depending on your circumstances.
Most US citizens will need to apply from outside the UK as you must have a visa before you leave the USA, but if you are currently living in the UK on a different visa then you may be able to apply to switch to the Investor Visa.
As part of your visa application, you will need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre near you in order to have your biometric information taken, this is your photograph and fingerprints.
If your application is successful, your visa will be issued for a period of three years and four months. Upon your arrival in the UK, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days. Your BRP can be used to prove that you have a legal right to live, work, and study in the UK.
Indefinite Leave to Remain with an Investor Visa
If you do not wish to return to the USA and plan to make the UK your permanent home, being on an Investor visa will allow you to do this. The Investor Visa can be used as a route towards Indefinite Leave to Remain, and you could be eligible for this quicker than immigrants on other types of visas.
Generally, most immigrants must have lived in the UK for 5 years to qualify for ILR. If you invest £2 million in UK business and have an Investor Visa, you could also be eligible to apply for ILR after living in the UK for 5 years.
However, if you invest £5 million in UK businesses you could be eligible to apply for residing in the UK for 3 years and if you invest £10 million you could be eligible after just 2 years of residency.
How can Total Law help?
Moving from the USA to the UK is a big step and doing so as an Investor can be an incredibly complex process. Our immigration lawyers are knowledgeable about all aspects of UK immigration law and can guide you through the process.
We can discuss your investment options with you, assess your eligibility for the UK Investor Visa, and can help you with every aspect of the application process, including assisting you with gathering all the documents you will need and checking them for accuracy.
Our immigration lawyers offer their services in person, over the phone, and online, so no matter where you are you can get expert assistance with your visa application. We will ensure your application is completed to the highest standard, giving you the best chance of success.
For more information about the services we offer, get in touch today by calling +1 844 290 6312
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US citizens can be eligible for a UK Investor Visa if they are able to invest at least £2 million in UK businesses, as well as this you will need to:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a UK bank account or investment account
- Prove that you have the investment funds available and that they were obtained legally
- Provide a criminal record certificate
- Demonstrate that you plan to make the UK your main home where you will spend at least 50% of your time
Yes, your dependents can be eligible to join you in the UK under the Investor Visa route. The family members that you can bring with you include your husband, wife, or partner, your children under the age of 18, and your children over the age of 18 if they are already living in the UK as a dependent.
You will need to pay the visa fees for each of your dependents as well as the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Yes, the Investor Visa can be used as a route towards permanent settlement in the UK. You could be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain in as little as two years depending on how much money you are able to invest in the UK.
Although direct citizenship by investment does not exist in the UK, you could be eligible to apply to become a British citizen after holding ILR for at least 12 months.
US citizens can hold dual US and British nationality, but you should be aware that if you do not renounce your US citizenship you will still be expected to uphold the responsibilities of a US citizen, which includes paying income tax.
The application fee for an Investor Visa is £1,623. As well as this fee, you will also be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which costs £624 per year. This is a mandatory fee that will allow you to access the UK’s healthcare system, the NHS.
If you want to receive a faster decision on your application, the UK Home Office also offers a priority service. This service costs £500 and will ensure you receive a decision on your application within 5 working days.