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UK Tier 1 business and investor visas

The UK offers a range of investment visas that allow non-UK citizens the chance to invest in an existing business, start up a new operation or even invest capital amounts into the country. There are two primary investment visas available to non-UK citizens who wish to live and work in the UK: The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa and the Tier 1 (Investor) visa. If you're interested in moving your existing business to the UK, we can also assist you with that.

Three different ways to invest in the UK and gain residency

Whether you are looking to move yourself, your family or your business to the UK, we can help you apply for the right visa. More than that, our comprehensive service will ensure that every aspect of your move is taken care of.

Our accounting, immigration, forex and financial planning teams will all ensure that you and your assets migrate to the UK in the most efficient way.

The UK has always been popular for investors and entrepreneurs

The UK has long been an attractor of long-term foreign direct investment. A stable economy political and social environment has helped the UK position itself at the centre of most of the world’s trade.

With a Tier 1 visa you, and your family can move to this dynamic country and begin furthering your business and residency ambitions.

UK immigration for investors has never been easier

In the current climate, the UK is keener than ever to attract new entrepreneurs and investors. We are perfectly positioned to help you get your money to the UK and secure a second residency, and eventually nationality, for you and your family.

The UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa provides a relatively easy, if somewhat expensive, route to UK residency. It allows high-net-worth individuals from outside the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) to invest a large sum of money into the UK.

Invest in the UK, gain residency

For years the UK has been a place where investors have been happy to store their funds. The British Pound has been an excellent store of value over the long-term.

You can apply for the UK Investor visa if you:

  • Can invest £2 million or more in the UK in government bonds or share capital of active and trading UK companies
  • Are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • Are over the age of 18
  • Have a UK bank account
  • Have funds which are available to invest in the UK and held in a regulated financial institution

Bespoke investment solutions

We can tailor an investment package to your specific requirements depending on your risk appetite and long term-goals.

While low-, medium- and higher-risk options are available to all investors, our independent financial advisors will try to ensure that long-term goals are put in place.

We understand that wealth is not built through high-risk, short-term investments, but rather through conscientious studying of long-term trends and the active management of risk. This ethos carries through into any investment you make as part of the Tier 1 (Investor) visa scheme.

Visa duration and permanent UK residency

Once you have successfully invested your funds, you will be granted a visa that allows you to work and live in the UK for three years and four months. This visa can be extended for another two years if you meet certain criteria.

Once you’ve lived in the UK for five years on this visa, you will be eligible for permanent residency, also called indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

After holding ILR for 12 months, you can apply to be naturalised as a British citizen. Once you are a citizen you may apply for a British passport.

Investor visa requirements

You’ll need to invest at least £2,000,000 in any of the above-mentioned schemes. You may invest more if you wish.

Extensions and indefinite leave to remain

As a Tier 1 investor, you can stay in the UK for three years and four months on a Tier 1 (Investor) visa. If you wish to extend your visa, and you meet the requirements, you can do so for a further two years.

You can reduce the time it takes to settle in the UK by increasing your investment amount. Investments of £5 million and £10 million will enable you to apply to settle after three and two years respectively.

Time spent under this visa class counts towards qualifying for residency in the UK, leading to indefinite leave to remain.

Visa restrictions

There are certain professions that you may not pursue as well as some companies you may not invest in if you wish to secure a UK investor visa.

You cannot work as a professional sports coach or sportsperson. You may not invest funds in companies involved in property investment, property management or property development.

As with all Tier 1 visas, you will not be able to access public funds.

Interested in this visa?

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The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is available to a person starting or buying into a business in the UK. It is an excellent way to not only earn UK residency rights for you and your family, but if you choose wisely, the business you start up or join could provide you with an income large enough to sustain yourself and your family.

Entrepreneur visa requirements

You must meet either of the following criteria to apply for an Entrepreneur visa:

1. You need access to at least £50,000 in investment funds from venture capital companies or UK government seed funding entities, which are:

  • Held in one or more regulated financial institutions
  • Free to spend (disposable) on business in the UK

2. You have access to £200,000 investment funds and can prove that the money is free to spend (disposable) on business in the UK and either:

  • Your own
  • Made available to you by a third party (for example, spouse or partner)
  • Held in one or more regulated financial institutions

Successful applicants are able to bring a partner and children under 18.

How to make the right investment

With our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa Investment Programme (see below) we match investors’ skills and experience with a range of pre-qualified business investment opportunities. This ensures that your investment will be profitable from the get-go, meaning you earn a salary from the moment you land in the UK. This is a huge benefit for anyone who is worried about finding a job in the UK.

In addition to this, we ensure that the investment meets the qualifying criteria for the UK’s Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Helping you and your family gain UK residency, and eventually, full citizenship.

Visa restrictions

In addition to having access to investment funds, to be eligible for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Score at least 95 points under the UKVI’s points-based system
  • Be capable of supporting yourself during your stay in the UK
  • Meet the English language requirements
  • Have no criminal record
  • Provide a credible business plan
  • Pay a health surcharge to access the National Health Service (NHS)
  • Not invest in companies involved in property investment, property management or property development

Successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants can bring a partner and children under 18 with them.

Extensions and indefinite leave to remain

You can stay in the UK for a maximum of three years and four months on a UK Entrepreneur visa. If the relevant requirements are met, it can be extended for a further two years.

This visa class counts towards qualifying for UK residency, leading to indefinite leave to remain. This applies to any dependants you bring with you.

If you wish to start your family on the path to full British citizenship we recommend you contact us today, so we can map out the most efficient route for you and yours.

Invest in the UK today

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The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa Investment Programme

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme is a bespoke UK citizenship by investment programme. This scheme offers you the chance to obtain UK residency through a £200,000 investment into a pre-qualified UK business. If you meet all of the immigration requirements after five years, you and your family can apply for indefinite leave to remain, followed by full British citizenship.

  • A sound £200,000 UK business investment
  • UK citizenship for you and your family
  • An immigration solution for non-EU citizens
  • Tailored UK Business Investment Solution
  • Invest with a partner and split the costs

Secure employment and a salary as you land in the UK

Taking part in our programme will mean that you won't have to worry about finding a job in the UK when you get there. By investing in a pre-approved business, you'll be secure in the knowledge that you won't have to fight it out in the competitive UK job market.

We go one step further and make sure that whatever business you invest in is one that you can actively contribute to.

Matching your skills with the right business

With this innovative programme, we match the investors’ skills and experience with a range of pre-qualified business investment opportunities. With access to a list of over 200 pre-approved investee businesses, we can ensure that your investment is made in an operation that you can positively contribute to.

By taking the guesswork out of which business to invest in, we can assist you with getting your new life in the UK started as easily as possible.

By using our services, you can also be sure that the investment you're making will meet the qualifying criteria for the UK’s Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. This guarantees that your investment into the UK will help you obtain UK residency, and later citizenship, if all qualifying criteria are met.

A UK investment that leads to permanent residency for you and your family

You and your dependants (classified as your partner, children under 18 and some children over 18) can move to the UK for an initial period of three years and four months on this visa.

After this, if certain criteria are met, you and your dependants may renew your visas for a further two years. Upon spending five years in the UK on the same visa, you can claim permanent UK residency

This makes our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme perfect for you if you’re thinking about selling up and permanently immigrating to the UK.

What are the requirements?

To take part in this programme, you must satisfy the criteria for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa as stipulated by British immigration.

As this visa forms the basis of our programme, you will have to fulfil the requirements set out by UKVI. You must be over the age of 16 and have £200,000 that is freely available to be invested in the UK, along with evidence that you can support yourself. You will also need to pass an English language and points-based test.

The £200,000 required to take part in this programme can be divided amongst you and another person as part of a UK business partnership.

Please note: Your partner must meet all the requirements of this visa (excluding the £200,000 in funds) independently of you.

If you meet these requirements, you will be able to take part in our innovative programme and we will help you select the most appropriate investment option from our list of businesses.

Visa restrictions

You may not work for any company other than the one you have invested in for the duration of this visa. As with all Tier 1 visas you will not be allowed to draw from public welfare funds such as housing benefits or state pensions.

What our bespoke programme includes

  • Specialist immigration advice & visa application
  • Access to a database of pre-qualified investment opportunities
  • Business plan and investment proposal
  • Corporate, legal and accounting services
  • Monitoring and mentoring of the business
  • Wealth management
  • Ancillary services (airport transfers, educational advice and property search)
  • You will receive a detailed report and quote on transferring the full value of your South African retirement plan
  • Our advisors will assist you with any queries you have with regard to your cashed-in pension, provident fund, or retirement annuities

Expand your business into the UK

If you’re a business owner and you’d like to expand your operation internationally, now is the perfect time to invest in the UK. Our team of chartered accountants can help you set up a UK branch or subsidiary, while our nationality team helps to relocate both you and your business.

Helping foreign business in the UK since 1995

Our accounting division specialises in UK business immigration. As a firm that was founded by a South African who moved to the UK in 1995, we know what it takes to relocate and start up an operation in the UK.

We offer a range of services to foreign businesses in the UK, including:

Helping you grow with your business

Our goal is to provide you with all the help you need so that you can focus on driving your business forward while we take care of the admin. The services we offer are especially beneficial to business owners who are looking to relocate themselves, their businesses and possibly their family.

Get in touch with our experienced advisors below and they’ll set up a free consultation for you.

Contact an immigration expert

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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 License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS License number 335 126).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

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