Please note: This route is now closed to new applicants. Individuals who already have entry clearance or leave to enter or remain as a Tier 1 Investor Migrant may apply to extend their stay or for indefinite leave to remain. Applications for further leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor can be made until 17 February 2026. Applications for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor can be made until 17 February 2028.
What is a Tier 1 Investor visa?
The Tier 1 Investor visa category is for high net worth individuals who are willing and able to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. Investor visa holders are permitted to work, study and engage in business activities. They can also be accompanied or joined by their dependants. The Tier 1 Investor visa typically leads to settlement in the UK after a period of 5 years. Accelerated settlement is available to Tier 1 Investor visa holders who invest more in the UK.
UK Tier 1 Investor visa requirements
In order to qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa, you will need to satisfy the following UK Investor visa requirements:
- You have funds amounting to at least £2 million belonging to yourself, your partner or the two of you jointly;
- The money is held in a regulated financial institution;
- The money is freely transferable to the UK and able to be converted to pounds sterling;
- You have opened a bank account with a UK-regulated bank for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million in the UK.
If you have held your investment funds for less than 2 years then you will need to prove the source of your funds and, in every case, the Home Office will need to be satisfied as to the provenance of your funds.
If applying for a UK Investor visa from overseas, you and any adult dependents will need to provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country that you have lived in for at least 12 months in the last 10 years.
As a UK Investor visa applicant, you will not need to satisfy any English language or maintenance funds requirement.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
To discuss your Tier 1 Investor visa application with one of our investment immigration barristers, contact our UK Tier 1 Investor visa lawyers on 07810 447971 or complete our enquiry form below.
UK Investor visa: 2-year requirement
The Tier 1 Investor visa immigration rules do not require investment funds to have been held for 2 years.
If you have held your investment funds for less than 2 years then you can still qualify for a UK Investor visa if the source of the funds was:
- a gift received by yourself (and/or your husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner) in the 2 years prior to the date of application; or
- the proceeds of the sale of assets such as business or property within the 2 years before the date of application; or
- money held in your business (and/or the business of your husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner); or
- inheritance under a will received within the 2 years before making the application; or
- the proceeds of a divorce settlement received within the 2 years immediately before the date of application; or
- a financial award or winnings; or
- any other source provided that the source can be documented and independently corroborated.
If you have held your UK Investor visa investment funds for at least 2 years then you will not be required to provide specified evidence of the source of your funds. In particular, there is currently no requirement to provide an independent audit of financial and business interests as part of a Tier 1 Investor visa application. However, you will still need to satisfy the Home Office that your investment funds were lawfully obtained.
UK Investor visa investment options
Once you have entered the Tier 1 Investor visa category, you will need to invest at least £2 million in qualifying investments. The only qualifying Tier 1 Investor visa investment options are share capital and/or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. You will need to make a qualifying investment within 90 days of entering the UK Investor visa category.
The Immigration Rules for Tier 1 Investors contain various restrictions on permitted investments. For example, investments in offshore companies or trusts, open-ended investment companies, and companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management, or property development are all prohibited.
UK Investor visa application processing times
Most visa application centres outside the UK offer a priority service that allows Tier 1 Investor visa applicants to receive a decision on their applications for entry clearance within 5 working days.
Tier 1 Investors applying for further leave to remain from within the UK can apply for either a standard 8-week consideration or a priority 5 working day consideration. Tier 1 Investors applying for indefinite leave to remain within the UK can apply for either a standard 6-month consideration or a priority 10 working day consideration.
How long is a UK Tier 1 Investor visa valid for?
Your initial Tier 1 Investor visa will be valid for either 3 years and 4 months (if applying from overseas) or 3 years (if applying from within the UK).
You will need to invest at least £2 million in actively trading UK companies within 3 months of entering the category. You will then need to maintain your investment.
You will be able to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Investor visa holder for a further 2 years, before qualifying for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after 5 years. There is also an accelerated route to settlement as a Tier 1 Investor migrant after either 3 years (if you invest at least £5 million) or 2 years (if you invest at least £10 million).
In order to settle in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor, you will need to spend not more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period and, unless aged 65 or over, have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.
Tier 1 Investor visa extension
The requirements that you will need to satisfy in order to qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa extension will depend upon whether your initial Tier 1 Investor visa was granted between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019 or on or after 29 March 2019. You can find further information on our Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension page. Advice from an immigration lawyer will ensure that your extension application satisfies the strict requirements of the Immigration Rules.
Tier 1 Investor visa ILR
You may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor after spending 2, 3, or 5 years in the UK. The requirements that you will need to satisfy in order to qualify for ILR as a Tier 1 Investor visa holder will depend upon when your initial Tier 1 Investor visa was granted and the amount of your investment. You can find further information on our Tier 1 Investor Visa ILR page or contact our specialist immigration lawyers for expert advice.
How our immigration barristers can help UK Investor visa applicants
The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the documents that must be provided in support of a Tier 1 Investor visa application. It can be helpful to get advice from an immigration lawyer in order to ensure that your application is professionally presented and technically correct.
Berkshire Law Chambers is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading immigration practices for Tier 1 Investors. In addition to having won numerous industry awards, the work of our immigration barristers on behalf of investors has also been recognised through membership of the Investment Migration Council and the Department of International Trade’s Investor Support Network.
Our investment immigration barristers and immigration lawyers work closely with investors, wealth managers, and leading banks to prepare and submit high-quality visa applications for investors and their families. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for investors and will guide you through the complex Home Office Immigration Rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to investors as part of a professional and friendly service.