UK Investment Visa Options 2020: Ultimate Guide

Looking to obtain UK residency by investment in 2020? The UK offers high net worth investors and business professionals a number of options for obtaining UK residency, either by means of investment or the formation of a UK branch for an overseas business and acting as its sole representative.

While the Tier 1 Investment Visa Program is the most publicized of the two paths to British permanent residency, the lesser-known UK Sole Representative Visa Program can actually be the most viable option for obtaining UK residence and eventual Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Discover your investment residency options in the United Kingdom below, or contact us now for more information.

2020 UK investment residency options

Compare the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa an the UK Sole Representative Visa Program below:

PROGRAM NAME

TIER 1 INVESTOR VISA PROGRAM

UK SOLE REP VISA PROGRAM

INVESTMENT REQUIREMENT £2 million, £5 million or £10 million+ in UK No minimum investment requirement
KEY ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
  1. The minimum investment requirement is £2 million or more. The funds must be legally sourced capital, to be invested for the duration of your residency.
  2. The applicant must be of good international standing and have a clean criminal record.
  3. The applicant must be of good international standing and have a clean criminal record.
  4. The applicant is required to open a UK investment account with an FCA regulated financial institution.
  5. The primary applicant and their dependents are required to pay an annual NHS surcharge.
  1. The applicant must be 18 years or older, and must be a senior employee with demonstrable skills, and they must be empowered to take executive decisions on the behalf of the UK branch office.
  2. The applicant must be a minority Shareholder in a Foreign Business situated outside of the UK and EEA (1% to 49% shareholding).
  3. The Overseas Business must have been trading for 12 months or more, and must be doing a monthly turnover of at least  £5,000 (£60,000 per annum).
  4. A clear and compelling business plan is a key requirement for the Overseas Business Representative Visa application.
  5. The applicant must be of good international standing and a clean criminal record.
  6. If the applicant’s spouse is to apply  for UK residency as a dependent applicant, they may not be a majority shareholder in the overseas business.
  7. The applicant must be demonstrably fluent in English, and you may be required to undertake a language test to prove it.
  8. The Overseas Business must remain headquartered outside of the UK.
  9. The primary applicant and their dependents are required to pay an annual NHS surcharge.
  10. As of 4 June 2020, the genuineness of the Overseas Business and its shareholding structure will receive significantly more scrutiny from the UK Home Office.
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT Not applicable for Tier 1 Investor Visa applications, but will be applicable for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application. Applicants from many jurisdictions will be required to undertake basic language proficiency testing as part of their Sole Representative Visa applications.
FAMILY ELIGIBILITY Spouse and dependent children under the age of 18.  Spouse and dependent children under the age of 18.
MINIMUM STAY REQUIREMENTS Minimum stay of 180 days per year. No minimum stay requirement, unless you wish to apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR), in which case you need to spend a minimum of 180 days or more in the UK per year for 3 consecutive years (minimum of 5 years from visa issuance).
APPLICATION TIMELINE 8 to 10 weeks 3 months (90 days)
TIME TO INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN (ILR) 5 years (£2 million investment option), 3 years (£5 million investment option) and 2 years (£10 million investment option). 5 years
TIME TO CITIZENSHIP 6 years for the £2  million and £5 million investment options, and 5 years for the £10 million investment option. 6 years