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UK citizenship for you and your family: The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment programme

by Gary Kockott | Aug 10, 2016
  • This innovative residency solution aims to marry your desire for British citizenship with a solid return-generating investment in a UK business. The minimum investment amount is £200,000, making our Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme a viable option for South Africans looking to sell off their assets in their home country and immigrate to the UK.

    This unique programme, put together by our Nationality team, matches investor skills and experience with a range of business investment opportunities.

    We’ll also ensure that applicants meet the UK’s Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa qualifying criteria. This means that investors not only secure a profitable investment into a UK business, but also obtain UK residency and ultimately UK citizenship, for themselves and their family.

    What is the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa?

    The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa was introduced by the UK government to encourage foreign investment into the UK. The permit entitles the holder to live and work in the UK for three years, with the option to extend for a further two years if certain criteria are met. Once you’ve spent five years in the UK on this visa, you will be able to apply for permanent residency and a year later begin the process of becoming a British citizen if certain criteria are met.

    Visa requirements

    To be awarded this visa, you must:

    • Invest a minimum of £200,000 into a UK business
    • Be an active director of that business
    • Create two new jobs as a result of the business
    • Demonstrate that you have an English language ability of IELTS level 4
    • Spend at least 185 days a year in the UK

    Two year extension criteria

    To obtain a two-year extension, you must:

    • Have been injected the investment sum into the UK business (new or existing)
    • Have created two full-time jobs for resident workers of the UK, and these jobs must have been in existence for at least 12 months
    • Demonstrate that you have registered as self-employed or as a director of a new or existing business
    • Demonstrate that you have been involved in the day-to-day core activities of the business

    Why this Tier 1 visa is so popular

    First off, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa has a lower entry cost than other UK investment visas. The Tier 1 (Investment) visa, for example, requires minimum investment of £2 million, putting it out of reach of the vast majority of investors.

    The second major benefit of this programme is that once you have been on a Tier 1 visa for five years, you and your family can apply for permanent residency (Indefinite Leave to Remain). Once you have held permanent residence for a year, you may begin the process of naturalisation; after which, you may apply for a passport.

    The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme is comprehensive

    Investing in a new country is always a challenge. To do so while also moving your home and family is more demanding still, particularly because of the complex regulations surrounding visas.

    To ease you into this exciting new phase of your life, our team will help and support you every step of the way. Together with our partners we’ll ensure that you achieve both your long-term business goals and UK residency ambitions.

    The programme’s services include:

    • Immigration advice and visa application assistance
    • Access to a proprietary database of pre-qualified investment opportunities
    • Corporate legal services and tax advice from qualified professionals
    • Monitoring of business until you obtain permanent residency
    • Complimentary online English language training
    • Wealth management

    There are also several ancillary services offered as part of the programme, ranging from airport transfers to educational advice for your children. We’ll even help you in your property search. Essentially, we’ll help ensure that you set up your life in the UK as smoothly as possible.

    With offices in both London and Cape Town, offering a host of financial and immigration services, Sable International is ideally positioned to help South African citizens apply for UK residency through this programme.

    Fill in the form on this page and one of our UK nationality experts will get back to you. Alternatively you can give us a call on +44 (0) 20 7759 7581.


    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.


    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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