Following a period of review, new rules take effect on the 29th March 2019 which impose more stringent regulations and requirements on Tier 1 investor visa holders. Our Tier 1 specialists can help.
The Tier 1 Investor visa extension process is highly involved. You are required to collate and submit extensive documentation to evidence your investment activity during the course of your stay in the UK.
Applying for a Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension
An initial Tier 1 Investor visa lasts for a total of 3 years and 4 months. Holders of the Tier 1 Investor visa may apply to extend their stay in the UK for a further 2 years under Tier 1.
The application process for extending your Tier 1 Investor visa is, however, complex. Criteria are strict, and the requirements on you to provide full and accurate supporting documentation relating to your UK investment activity are stringent.
The demands can be exacerbated if, as a result of poor advice as part of your initial Tier 1 Investor Visa application, your supporting documentation has not been kept up to date.
Failure to present a comprehensive and complete application can lead to delays in a decision or even refusal.
There is also the possibility that you may be invited to interview by the Home Office, to discuss in detail your application and your investment activity to date.
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As part of our Tier 1 Investor visa extension service, we will prepare your application for submission to the Home Office.
We are a team of highly experienced, specialist immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, with an established reputation for effective and efficient management and processing of Tier 1 visa extensions and applications, and advising on options for UK settlement.
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Your Questions Answered
How can I extend my Tier 1 Investor visa?
If you have applied for and been granted a Tier 1 investor visa prior to the 29th March 2019, the ‘old’ rules will continue to apply in respect of visa extensions until 5th April 2023. Settlement applications can be made until 5th April 2025.
If your visa was granted prior to 6th November 2014, when the original £1 million threshold applied, the key dates to note are 6th April 2020 for extensions and 6th April 2022 for settlement. Applications made after these dates will be subject to the new rules.
Extension applications submitted abroad are granted for 2 years, to align with extensions made within the UK. You are required to meet eligibility criteria and to submit a formal application to extend your Tier 1 investor visa. We detail the extension application process here.
Can Tier 1 Investor visa holders apply to settle in the UK?
You may become eligible to apply to settle permanently in the UK after two years if you invest £10 million, after three years if you invest £5 million, or after five years if you invest £2 million. Any dependent family members that you bring with you must wait five years before they are eligible for settlement.
Extending a Tier 1 Investor Visa granted after 6th November 2014
To be eligible to extend your Tier 1 Investor Visa (granted after 6 November 2014) you must show you:
- have at least £2,000,000 under your control in the UK
- have invested those funds in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies
- invested this sum within 3 months of your ‘investor start date’
What are the eligibility criteria?
There are restrictions on the type of investment the Home Office will consider as part of the qualifying sum of £1 million. For example, funds must not be held in offshore custody. Also, the minimum investment must not be invested in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development. The funds must also not be invested by using deposits with a bank, building society or other enterprise whose normal course of business includes the acceptance of deposits.
We can advise on the full extent of the acceptable investment criteria.
To qualify for an extension, you will need to demonstrate that you had invested the funds within 3 months (13 weeks) of your initial grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Investor) and ensured that the total investment is maintained at or above £1 million.
You will be required to show that the minimum investment was maintained at that level throughout the period of your permission to stay (from the date that your investments were made).
The balance of funds is any further money necessary to bring the total funds invested by the applicant up to £1 million. If your investments total £1 million, no balance of funds is necessary. If the investments amount to between £750,000 and £1 million, you must provide evidence of the balance of the funds. You must have maintained a balance of up to £250,000, depending on how much is required to bring your total investment in the United Kingdom up to £1 million. In these circumstances, you must provide supporting documentation. We can advise on the type of investments that qualify and can be taken into account for the balance of funds.
Can my dependants apply at the same time?
Yes, any dependants who are on your current visa should be included in your extension application. This also includes children who have turned 18 during your stay.
When should I apply to extend my visa?
You should apply to extend your visa before your current leave expires. You can stay in the UK while your application is being processed, provided you applied before your visa has expired.
What documents are required to support my Tier 1 Investor Extension Application?
The documentation you must provide includes evidence of the balance of funds and a portfolio of your investments, certified as correct by a UK regulated financial institution. The portfolio must meet stringent criteria to be eligible for submission.
In addition to your investment portfolio and evidence of the balance of funds, you will be required to submit the following original documents:
- Completed and signed Tier 1 (Investor) application form
- Documents supporting your investment activity
- Original valid passport and any expired passports in your possession
- Original valid Biometric Residence Permit
- Two new passport photographs
Will I be eligible to settle in the UK?
If you invest the minimum of £2 million you will be able to settle after 5 years, in line with most other UK immigration categories. However, there are quicker ways to settlement under the Tier 1 Investor visa.
If you invest £5 million, you will be eligible for settlement after 3 years in the UK.
If you invest £10 million you can apply to settle after 2 years.
No other UK visa category offers this level of fast-tracked settlement.
How long does a decision take?
You can expect a decision to be made on your application within 8 weeks, or on the same day if you use the Super Premium Service.
In some circumstances, you may be contacted if your application will take longer because you need to attend an interview, or due to issues with your supporting documents or your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction).
Other points to note
- You will have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
- You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo), which costs £19.20.
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