Business Investor Visas are designed to make it easier for non-EU nationals to invest in UK companies and start up their own business in the UK. There are three types of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Business Visas currently being issued in the UK; they have different criteria and requirements, so we’ll cover each one individually. If you are looking to invest in the UK, these are great options as they allow you to live and work in the country while also giving you an opportunity to establish your business with support from the government.
Meanwhile, if you’re an entrepreneur, you may be wondering how you can make your business grow in your own country if it’s difficult to find venture capital and angel investors in the UK. If you want to come to the UK and set up a business or look at expanding into different markets, consider applying for the UK Business Investor Visa program. Originally introduced as the Tier 1 Investor Visa in 2008, it was opened up to more nationalities in 2011 and renamed to the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa in 2012.
What are UK Business Visas?
If you plan on running a company based out of the UK, then you will need a UK business visa. The UK offers visas designed specifically for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a business or own/manage a branch of an existing firm. As of August 1, 2021, these visas are available through two separate routes, one geared toward individuals with £10 million or more (Tier 1 Investor Visa) and another dedicated towards those with at least £2 million (Tier 2).
These visa routes will be valid until April 5, 2023. In addition to your primary Tier 2 visa application, you can also apply for an Ancestry Visa if you have one or more grandparents from England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. What is a Tier 1 Investor Visa?
Who can apply for a UK Investor Visa?
If you’re eligible for a UK investor visa, you must have a net worth of at least 2 million pounds and be able to invest between 200,000 and 1 million pounds into an active UK business or government bonds. You can apply if you want to set up your own business or buy a stake in one.
You cannot apply if you’re doing so as part of another business scheme, such as applying on behalf of a company that wants to expand into Europe. There are other conditions too, including health and security checks before your application is approved. In most cases, successful applicants must live in England during their first two years on investor visas.
What will I need?:
- A completed application form
- Passport-sized photos
- Two copies of your passport (with details of any previous visas issued)
- A letter from the company that will offer you a job on behalf of their employer.
Requirements for the UK business visa
UK business visas have certain requirements that depend on whether you’re applying as an individual or as a member of a group. The following is an overview of what you need to qualify for either. For more detailed information about UK business investor visas, visit our dedicated UK business visa page. Find out if you’re eligible for a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa With a bit of planning and preparation, securing your business visa is not too difficult — but it can be time-consuming and expensive.
To secure your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa from overseas, you’ll need to prove that you have access to at least £200,000 ($262,000) in investment funds and £10,000 ($12,800) cash — which will only be released after establishing residency.
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be able to financially support yourself for the duration of your visit.
- You must meet the authorities’ basic health requirements.
- You must have a legal invitation from a legitimate company in the country with whom you are/will conduct business.
How much does it cost?
The UK has business investor visa programs available which are open to those who can invest either £2 million or £10 million into a UK business. This investment must create at least two new jobs. Each of these types of visa offers an indefinite period of stay with no cap on how long you can stay, but each also has its own benefits and drawbacks. If you’re serious about investing overseas, it pays to know your options before making any final decisions. Here’s a look at both programs and how they might apply to you!
Who doesn’t qualify?
Fortunately, there are some limitations on who is eligible to apply. For instance, you won’t be able to include any of your dependents in your application. Also, if you’re a minor (i.e., under 18), then you can’t apply until adulthood—unfortunately, that means you have to wait another three years before attempting to secure your EIS visa. If neither of these exclusions applies to you, then congratulations! You can officially begin preparing your business plan.
How to Apply for a UK Investor Visa?
In order to qualify for a UK investor visa, you must have at least £2 million (or foreign currency equivalent) available. If you can’t meet these investment requirements, you’ll be able to apply through an alternative route. Investors who don’t have at least £2 million will be able to apply through a high-value migrant route that requires them to either invest £10 million or create 10 jobs. Additional qualifications might also apply, depending on your proposed business activity and other factors. Visit Immigration Direct for more information about how and when you can apply.
UK Citizenship by Investment
To be eligible, foreign investors must have at least £2 million of their own money available to invest in a UK business. If their investment is in shares of a company that employs 10 or more people, then they will need to inject at least £10 million.
A further route for foreigners seeking UK citizenship by investment uses land instead of money; if you make an investment worth at least £5 million into UK agricultural land, you could also apply for a visa as part of your application. After living and working in Britain for 5 years, you can apply for full citizenship.
Things To Know Before You Start
The UK investor visa requires you have a minimum of £2 million of funds available for investment in property, government bonds, or loan-backed securities. To qualify, you must also show you can support yourself and any dependents during your first five years in the UK (via salaries, pensions, or other means). You must also pass various character checks.
For example, if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted of a crime not related to tax fraud or theft—and didn’t tell immigration officials—you could be denied an investment visa. Applicants under 18 will need consent from their parents (or legal guardians) before they can apply.
Can I Get UK Citizenship by Investment?
Given UK’s membership in the EU, a lot of people wonder if they can become EU citizens without moving to Europe by investing in British businesses. The answer is yes! You can get a UK visa as long as you are a non-European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen and have at least £2 million or equivalent investment funds available.
Most importantly, you must be able to prove that you have those funds readily available. If that’s not possible, you may need a longer time frame and maybe even assistance from professional investment experts. For more details on how to secure your own UK business investor visa, check out our Guide and follow step-by-step instructions there!
Can My Family Join Me With a UK Investor Visa?
As a business investor on a UK business visa, you can be joined by your spouse or unmarried partner and dependent children. If you are from outside of Europe, though, it may take longer—up to three years—for your family to join you as dependents on your UK investor visa.
After living with you for five years on a resident visa, however, they should then be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and thereafter apply for British citizenship.
Can I Work in the UK with an Investor Visa?
The UK has three business investor visa categories – The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa, The Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, and The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa. However, each one of these business investor visas is exceptionally strict as you need to meet a high financial threshold and a low-risk test. If you do manage to obtain one of these UK business investor visas then there is no requirement that you work in your business or even set up a company.
There are numerous other options such as sole traders or freelancers where individuals can work within their own companies without having to be employed by an employer. That said if you wish to earn money from your business then you would require authorization under one of these routes.
How to Apply for a UK Investor Visa?
You have to apply for a UK Investment Visa via the Visas and Immigration website of the UK Government. The application process is as follows:
- Complete the online application form.
- Provide the required documents.
- Pay the visa fee.
- Pay the health surcharge.
- Once you submit the application online, you must locate the nearest UK visa application center to submit your biometric information and fingerprints, as well as any other required documents.
- Wait for the visa application to be processed. This usually takes up to three weeks.
- Once the visa application is processed, you can collect your biometric residence permit.
Online Application Form for a UK Investor Visa
As explained above, before you start any other procedure to apply for an Investor Visa, you should complete the application form.
The application form for a UK Investor Visa contains questions regarding:
- Your name & surname.
- Your date and place of birth.
- Parents, their names, date, and place of birth, and nationality.
- If you have traveled to the UK before.
- If you have traveled anywhere in the world before.
- The purpose of your trip to the UK.
- The visa type you are applying for.
- Whether you are meeting the requirements, etc.
Can I Switch to an Investor Visa if I Am Already in the UK?
Yes, if you are in the UK with one of the following visas, you can switch it into a Tier 1 Investment Visa before your current visa expires, provided you fulfill the requirements:
- Tier 1 (General)
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
- Any Tier 2 Visa
- Tier 4 (General Student)
If you have any other visa, you have to leave the UK and apply via the regular method.
The UK government has announced that it will soon be reopening its Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa scheme, in addition to other new business-related visas which have been designed with the intention of attracting top talent to the country.
You must also secure business funding of at least £100,000 before applying. Once granted your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you’ll be able to work freely and set up any kind of business you wish—whether it’s retail or digital—and will also get access to an entrepreneur quota route to permanent residency after five years. For More Information Vist POPTALKZ.COM
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