London is a magnate for UK HNW immigration; it is home to the highest concentration of wealthy individuals in the world, thanks to the wealth of opportunities available and the rich heritage and diversity of citizens.
The Tier 1 category adopts a points-based system (PBS) which facilitates the move of HNW professionals. Unlike the Tier 2 route, the Tier 1 category does not require sponsorship and in some instances, no English language requirement.
There are a number of options within the Tier 1 visa category which allow HNW individuals to relocate to the UK temporarily or permanently.
Settlement can be obtained after a five-year period; however, in some circumstances, individuals can apply for accelerated settlement. Visa options in the Tier 1 category include:
After the announcement of the scrapping of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa in late 2018, the new innovator visa is intended to help experienced overseas entrepreneurs carry out their business ventures in the UK through an endorsement from approved bodies.
Approved applicants will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea that is supported by the aforementioned endorsing body with at least £50,000 to be invested into the business.
A noteworthy change is that the business venture will be assessed solely by experts in the endorsing body rather than the Home Office itself. This separates the endorsement process to the immigration process; obtaining an an endorsement will not guarantee a visa if there are immigration issues with the applicant.
This visa will enable individuals to establish their business in the UK for the first time providing their business idea is innovative, viable and scalable. It has replaced the existing Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa and was introduced with the new Innovator visa.
Unlike the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, you can apply for a start-up visa even if you do not have a university education. However, the start-up criteria will need to be supported and assessed by an endorsing body who can confirm that the individual intends to spend the majority of their time working on developing the business venture.
Tier 1 Investor visa route
The Tier 1 Investor visa is the most straightforward visa option for HNW individuals, requiring a minimum investment of £2 million in the UK. There is no English language requirement for an initial application, making this visa suitable for applicants who do not meet the English language requirements for other visa categories.
A Tier 1 Investor visa is initially granted for a maximum period of 3 years and 4 months, after which individuals can:
- apply to extend the visa for a further 2 years
- apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 5 years in the UK, subject to English language requirements and the Life in the UK test, with the option of applying for British nationality thereafter
Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route
*Note: this visa application will not be available after 29 March 2019 – it has been replaced by the new innovator visa. Prospective entrepreneurs may be eligible under this route; follow the link for more information on how we can help you determine your eligibility. You will still be able to make extension, settlement and accelerated settlement (below) applications.*
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is appropriate for individuals with previous entrepreneurial experience who wish to relocate to the UK. A minimum investment of £200,000 in the UK is required alongside meeting the Genuine Entrepreneur test. Individuals need to develop a comprehensive business plan outlining the goals and objectives of their proposed business, meet the English language and maintenance requirements and provide the relevant police clearance.
The visa is initially granted for a period of 3 years and 4 months, after which they can apply for an extension and thereafter for settlement and British nationality.
Individuals may apply for accelerated settlement after 3 years if they can demonstrate that:
- They have set up a new UK business or businesses that has/have created the equivalent of 10 new full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK; or
- They have taken over or invested in a current UK corporate entity and the services they provide or their capital investment has resulted in a net growth in the employment provided by the business or businesses for persons settled in the UK by generating the equivalent of 10 new full-time jobs; or
- They have established a new UK business that has generated a revenue from business activity of at least £5 million during a 3-year period in which they were last granted leave as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant; or
- They have taken over or invested in a current UK business and their services or investment has generated a net increase in income from business activity in that business of at least £5 million during a 3-year period in which they were granted leave under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route.
Tier 1 Team Entrepreneur visa
The Tier 1 Team Entrepreneur visa route is suitable for two applicants wishing to combine their funds, expertise and business experience to invest in the UK. The criteria are the same as for the Entrepreneur visa.
Although applying as a team, both team members must submit an individual application; please note that both individuals’ applications must be successful in order for the visa to be granted.
Sole Representative of an Overseas Company visa
The Sole Representative of an Overseas Company visa is aimed at overseas companies looking to create a branch or office in the UK. A senior representative of the company who is not a majority shareholder can travel to the UK to establish a branch presence, although the main focus of the business will need to remain centred overseas.
This visa does not require a minimum initial investment, as is the case with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route, or entail a rigid maintenance requirement. However, applicants will be subjected to English language requirements. The visa is initially granted for a period of 4 years, after which time an extension option for 2 years is available and thereafter the possibility of Indefinite Leave to Remain.
How NA Law can assist with UK HNW Immigration
At NA Law Solicitors, our team of specialist immigration lawyers can help you navigate through the complex and time-consuming process of applying for a Tier 1 visa, whilst ensuring that you have the highest possible chance of making a successful application. NA Law Solicitors provide targeted advice to HNW clients:
- We keep abreast of the latest legal and business developments
- We can advise on the most appropriate supporting documents to submit alongside your application
- We can advise on how best to meet with the subjective requirements of the visa and attest that the supporting documents are in a form required by the Home Office
- We will ensure that your business plan demonstrates credibility and your genuineness as an entrepreneur
- We will prepare detailed legal representations in support of your application
We provide efficient, effective and practical advice to clients in a professional and jargon-free manner.
NA Law Solicitors are committed to providing a high quality, cost-effective service. We operate on a fixed-fee basis and therefore offer transparency and peace of mind when it comes to budgeting and costs.
Our years of expertise allow us to offer a solution-based approach to meet with your desired immigration goals, whether this is to travel, work, join family or settle in the UK.
We provide a bespoke service tailored to meet with the exact needs of our clients.
Please contact us to speak to a specialist immigration solicitor.