The Golden Ticket: Tier 1 (investor) visas explained

By Tempus | 14 Nov 2017 | Wealth

MJS Capital explains the investment scheme that could fast-track UK residency and boost the economy in one swoop

img tempus
* The UK has long been considered an attractive place to live by the international elite. Its premium education and health systems and perfect global positioning between North America and Asia make it a desirable place to do business as well as set up home. 

In 2011 the UK government introduced new visa rules that would reward foreign investors who have invested £2m or more with fast tracked residency within the country. Six years on, the system is still relatively unknown but, according to boutique investment company MJS Capital, it can be advantageous to both sides.

The UK has long been considered an attractive place to live by the international elite. Its premium education and health systems and perfect global positioning between North America and Asia make it a desirable place to do business as well as set up home. 

When Damien Green, then UK Immigration Minister, introduced the new Tier 1 (investor) visa rules in April 2011, he very much saw the system as beneficial to both the foreign investors looking to put down roots and the recession-weary British economy. International investors would be fast tracked to residency and the UK economy would benefit from the injection of wealth and job creation.

“Investors can play a major part in our economic recovery,” Green said. “And I want to do everything I can to make sure that Britain remains an attractive destination for them.” Immigration by investment works well all over the world. As global wealth increases more and more, families have had the means and the desire to purchase a new life elsewhere.

The Chinese, for example, last year invested $7.7bn in the United States through their EB-5 programme, and $6bn in Australia through its Significant Investor Visa program. The UK, meanwhile, saw investment from Chinese citizens to the tune of $1.96bn through Tier 1 (investor). We spoke to MJS Capital's Shaun Prince to find out how it's done:

Related story: Jets, yachts, supercars: is fractional ownership for you?

Tier 1 (investor) Visas explained

• The Tier 1 (investor) category rewards those who invest large sums of money by allowing them to settle in the UK faster than the standard five-year minimum requirement

• The earliest you can apply for a Tier 1 (investor) visa is three months before you travel but decisions on visas are usually within three weeks

• Investors can also spend 180 days outside of the UK without impacting on their right to residency – this is a crucial level of mobility for many international investors who need to travel often

• The earliest you can apply for a Tier 1 (investor) visa is three months before you travel but decisions on visas are usually within three weeks

• Investors can also spend 180 days outside of the UK without impacting on their right to residency – this is a crucial level of mobility for many international investors who need to travel often

• Investors need to be able to invest £2m or more. The more invested, the quicker the residency. Investors could apply to settle in the UK after two years if investing £10 million, three years if investing £5 million. With the Tier 1 (investor) visa, investors can stay for three years and four months and can then apply to extend residency for another two years