The Tier 1 Investor visa is an option for investors who wish to live in the UK, with a spouse and dependents (if applicable). As an investor, you could feasibly be granted permanent residence within two to five years and become a citizen within six years. For those who have access to the necessary funds, it is an efficient way to bring your entire family to the UK, while establishing yourself in the UK market. But who can apply for the Tier 1 Investor visa and what are the allowances and restrictions?

What is the Tier 1 Investor visa?

With the Tier 1 Investor visa, individuals with a high net worth can invest in active and trading UK companies, if they have access to £2,000,000 or more. With this program, you will be granted a visa for three years and four months, at which point you can apply for an extension of two years, or expedite your settlement by investing more money.

You may also transition from the Tier 1 Investor visa if you are already UK based under Tier 1, 2 or 4.

With the Investor visa, you will not be expected to fulfil an English language qualification until you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). At this point, you will be required to prove your English language proficiency in order to show that you can be a productive and involved member of your new community.

Who can apply?

In order to apply for the Tier 1 Investor visa, you will need to fulfil certain requirements, both personal and financial. The personal requirements include that you must be over eighteen years old. There is no proof of English language proficiency required, and no maintenance requirement for you as an individual.

If you are not planning to settle here, you will not need to follow any residency requirements.

Financial requirements

The financial requirements for this route are quite strict. You must be able to provide proof that you have at least £2,000,000 available to invest, and you must have been in possession of these funds for two years. This money must demonstrably belong to you, and you must open a bank account in the UK.

The bank will carry out thorough checks and due diligence on you and this will be confirmed during your visa application.

While this is the basic outline of the financial requirements, it is worth noting that these rules are complicated and not easy for a layperson to understand. This is the point at which your application is most likely to be refused, so it is important to source professional assistance when applying for your Tier 1 Investor visa.

What you can do

With an Investor visa, there are many things you are able to do in the UK. You may invest £2,000,000 plus in active UK companies which are registered. This may be loan capital or share capital. You may also work and study and enter either with your family or have them join you in the UK later on.

If you wish to settle, you can do so after two years with a £10 million investment, after three years with a £5 million investment, or after five years with a £2 million investment.


There are some restrictions in place with this visa. You are not, for example, able to invest in companies whose main areas of business are property-related (investment, management, development), but you are permitted to invest in construction-related companies.

You are also restricted from being the recipient of public funds, and may not work as a sportsperson or coach professionally, or a dentist. 

How long will this take?

You cannot apply until three months before you travel, with the usual processing time being around three weeks for entry. If your application is made within the UK, your application will be processed in two to three months. However, you may be able to pay for a priority service to expedite the decision, reducing the time frame to fifteen days or less.

These time frames are only an outline, and each application is unique.

Need Immigration Advice? Call Fusco Browne Today

At Fusco Browne, we are highly skilled and experienced in different areas of immigration law. If you think that you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, then get in touch with us. We can guide you through every step of the application process and improve your odds of having your application accepted. Contact us to find out how we can help you.

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