Settlement by Investment

United Kingdom currently offers two routes to settlement by investment in the UK, under the Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur categories of the points-based system.

Eligibility Requirements:

Whichever category you apply under, in order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You have spent a continuous period lawfully in the UK in a permitted category (ordinarily the continuous period will be 5 years, unless you are applying for accelerated settlement);
  • You have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any of the rolling 12 month periods preceding the date of application;
  • You have sufficient knowledge of the English language (unless aged 65 or over);
  • You have taken and passed the Life in the UK test (unless aged 65 or over).

Each of the investment related settlement categories also have their own additional eligibility criteria, which are summarised below. If you qualify for settlement by investment, or indefinite leave to remain, you will be able to stay in the UK without any time restrictions. Your settled status will lapse if you are absent from the UK for more than 2 years. Achieving permanent resident status is central to qualifying for a British passport, since Naturalisation as a British Citizen requires that the applicant be settled in the UK.

You will not need to satisfy the English language requirement or pass the Life in the UK test if you are at least 65 years of age. The Home Office also has a discretion to waive the requirement if it would be unreasonable to expect you to fulfil that requirement due to a mental or physical condition. Various other exemptions also apply.

If you are already in the UK but are unable to satisfy the English language requirement, you may be able to extend your permission to stay, so that you can prove your knowledge of English.

Please see below for category Specific Requirements.

In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain after spending 5 years in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You have invested not less than £2 million of your capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;
  • You have maintained at least £2 million of your own funds, under your own control, in the UK.

You may qualify for accelerated settlement after 3 years if you have maintained an investment of £5 million or after 2 years if you have maintained an investment of £10 million. In addition, if aged 18 to 64 you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.

You can spend up to 180 days (six months) outside the UK each year and still qualify for indefinite leave to remain. Different requirements apply to Tier 1 Investor migrants who applied to enter the category under the Immigration Rules in force prior to 6 November 2014. If you submitted an investor visa application on or before 5 November 2014 then your application will be decided against the requirements of the Immigration Rules in force at that time.

In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain after spending 5 years in the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You registered as a business director or as self-employed within 6 months of either entering the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur or being granted leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur;
  • You have invested at least £200,000 or £50,000 (as appropriate) in a business or businesses in the UK;
  • You have created at least two full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK and these jobs have existed for at least 12 months.

You will also need to satisfy the Home Office that you have established, taken over or become a director of a genuine UK business, genuinely operated that business and genuinely intend to continue operating the business.

If aged 18 to 64, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK. You can spend up to 180 days (six months) outside the UK each year and still qualify for indefinite leave to remain. You may qualify for accelerated settlement after 3 years if you have created 10 new jobs or your business has received at least £5 million in income from business activity.

Your partner may qualify for ILR if they have permission to be in the UK as your partner and they have been living with you in the UK for at least 2 years (if they applied before 9 July 2012) or 5 years (if they applied on or after 9 July 2012).

Partners of PBS migrants granted leave since 11 January 2018 will need to satisfy a 180 day residence requirement when applying for indefinite leave to remain. The Home Office will consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods.

If aged 18 to 64, your partner will need to pass the Life in the UK test and an English language test. Your child may qualify for ILR if they were previously given permission to stay in the UK as your child. You and your child’s other parent should generally both be in the UK legally, or currently applying to enter, remain or settle, for the child to be allowed to settle. Your child can also apply for settlement if you are the child’s sole surviving parent, you have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing or there are serious or compelling family or other considerations.

Call our immigration lawyers on 0330 058 3929 or contact us online to discuss settlement by investment route.