The United Kingdom has always been an attractive destination for Middle Eastern high-net-worth individuals, with London being a particular beacon for the globe’s wealthy.
For many Arab investors, the UK offers a platform from which to grow their investments or businesses on an international stage. In addition to the financial and investment opportunities, there is also the strong cultural appeal of the UK and London, as well as its private education system.
One of the most flexible options for relocating to the UK is under the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, which is designed to allow those wealthy individuals who make a substantial financial investment in the UK to obtain permission to live and work in the UK.
Criteria for the UK Investor Visa
The Investor Visa criteria specify that an applicant must be able to demonstrate access to money of their own, under their control, held in a regulated financial institution and amounting to no less than GBP 2 million. You can rely on funds that are held in an overseas financial institution, provided the funds are freely transferable to the UK and the financial institution holding the funds is willing to confirm this in writing.
The minimum amount of GBP 2 million must be subsequently invested in the UK by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies. Investment in UK government bonds and offshore companies is not permitted.
The applicant is not required to show business experience or the ability to speak English as part of the initial Investor Visa application. Investors are permitted to be employed in the UK under this visa or undertake a course of study in the UK.
The UK expects the Investor and their family to intend to make the UK their main home. In order to be granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR), the main applicant and their spouse should not spend more than 180 days in any 12 months outside of the UK. Except in specific and limited circumstances, child dependants will only be granted ILR if both parents have or are applying for ILR.
Gherson has extensive experience in Investor visa applications and all other business and work visa categories. If you are interested in applying or switching into the Tier 1 Investor category, or interested in talking to us about your specific circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.