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Investor Visa

Investor Visa overview

What is the Investor visa?

This visa (formerly known as the Tier 1 Investor visa) is for high-net worth individuals who wish to invest a minimum of £2m in the UK to travel freely to and live in the UK with their families.

As of 17 February 2022, this visa route is now closed to new applicants.

How long can I have a Investor visa for?

This visa is granted initially for a period of three years and four months.  It can then be extended for a further two years allowing you to hold this visa for a maximum of five years and four months.  You can ultimately apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Can I bring my family to the UK with me?

Yes, you can bring certain family members known as “dependants” with you. These are your:

  • husband, wife or partner;
  • children under the age of 18;
  • children over 18 who are already in the UK as your dependant.

If your child is over the age of 18 at the time of applying and not already in the UK as your dependant, you may still be able to include them in the visa application but this will depend on the individual circumstances.

If you are already in the UK with your dependants and you switch to the Investor visa, they will be able to remain with you.  Whether or not they need to apply for new visas will depend on the circumstances and it is recommended that you contact us to discuss this further.

Can my children study in the UK as dependants of a Tier 1 Investor visa holder?

Yes, dependants of an Investor visa holder are free to attend nursery, school and/or university in the UK.

Once I have an Investor visa, can I travel and live outside the UK?

Your Investor visa will allow you to travel in and out of the UK.

When applying to extend the visa there is no requirement to intend to live in the UK for a certain length of time or to make the UK your main residence.

However if your intention is to apply for ILR in the future you do need to comply with the maximum absence from the UK requirement (see below).

How long does it take to settle/obtain ILR in the UK with an Investor visa?

How long it will take to settle in the UK depends on the value of your investment into the UK.  You can apply to settle after:

  • two years if you invest £10 million;
  • three years if you invest £5 million; or
  • five years if you invest £2 million.

Further information about ILR and settlement can be found here.

All dependants of an Investor have to wait five years before they are eligible to apply for ILR.

There are other eligibility requirements for ILR which you should be mindful of.  Please contact us to discuss these to ensure that you do not fall foul of these whilst holding your Investor visa.

As a result of the changes to this route introduced on 17 February 2022, settlement will now be conditional on applicants executing an investment strategy that can show genuine job creation and other tangible economic impacts, holding UK investments will no longer be enough.

To apply for ILR under the Investor visa, how many days absence from the UK can I have?

If you wish to apply for ILR you must have had no more than 180 days’ absence from the UK during any rolling 12 month period during the applicable two, three or five year qualifying period. You are required to list your absences when applying for ILR and so you should retain a record of these.

Dependants of Investor visa holders who were granted their initial or extended visa on or after 11 January 2018 must also meet the above absence requirements for any period of leave granted after this date.

Once I have obtained ILR, do I need to maintain my investment in the UK?

No, if you wish, you can withdraw your investment after obtaining ILR.

Can ILR be revoked if I live outside the UK?

ILR can be revoked for a number of reasons, for example relating to criminal or immigration offences, but importantly, ILR will lapse if you spend more than two consecutive years outside of the UK.  To ensure this does not happen, you should travel to the UK at least every two years if you are a non-UK resident.

Can I apply for citizenship if I have an Investor visa?

Yes, if you invested £2m, you must have lived in the UK for five years and held ILR for one year (a total of six years) before you can apply for citizenship. This is also the case for dependants regardless of the total funds invested.

If you invested £5m or £10m, you are usually eligible to apply for citizenship after five years rather than six.

The absence requirements for British citizenship applications are more onerous than they are for ILR and so if you may want to apply for citizenship in the future, please contact us to ensure that you are aware of the requirements and can plan ahead.

Are there any changes expected to the Tier 1 Investor visa category?

Previous years have seen substantial changes to this visa route = and most recently, the route has been closed down completely to new applicants.

It remains to be seen whether the Home Office will introduce a similar route in the future.

The changes introduced on 17 February 2022 have also altered the requirements for settlement under this route. Settlement is now conditional on applicants executing an investment strategy that can show genuine job creation and other tangible economic impacts, passively holding UK investment will no longer be enough. We expect further details about this in due course.



Investor Visa - eligibility

What are the eligibility criteria to extend my Investor visa?

The eligibility criteria applicable to extension applications will depend on:

  1. when you applied for your initial Investor visa; and
  2. when you are applying to extend your visa.

For the specific requirements that are applicable to your visa and circumstances, please contact us.

Services and pricing

Services and pricing

As of 17 February 2022, new applications for the Investor visa are no longer permitted. We can assist Investor visa applicants with extending their visa, applying for family members to join them and with settlement applications. This includes:

  • obtaining a detailed understanding from you of your circumstances and funding;
  • advice to you on eligibility;
  • advice on which supporting documents to provide with the application;
  • assistance with preparing and obtaining supporting documents including liaising with overseas lawyers, translators and financial institutions;
  • review of and advice to you on the visa application form;
  • advice to you on the application process and queries;
  • assisting with questions about the process or correspondence from the Home Office.

Fee estimate (extension applications)*: £10,000 – £15,000

*:  Our fees are calculated based on the number of hours it will take us to carry out this work. The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances in your case, such as:

  • the source of the investment funds;
  • the location of the investment funds;
  • the ownership of the investment funds;
  • the location and availability of relevant third parties such as lawyers, translators and financial institutions;
  • the volume and complexity of supporting documents and evidence that we need to consider;
  • whether face to face meetings with you are required (if you reside in the UK) and the volume of calls and queries from you;
  • the urgency of your application;
  • whether you have an adverse immigration or criminal history;
  • whether you are applying alone or with dependants.

Fees are excluding VAT at the rate of 20%.. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as visa fees payable to the Home Office and document translation fees. These are not included in the above estimates.

Full details can be found in our comprehensive pricing document, which can be found here, or please contact one of our immigration specialists.


Given the fast pace of change, we would stress that this information is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

As a hub, we have included references to articles and explainers from third parties. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

Our immigration team

Flora Mewies

Flora Mewies

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Roisin Patton

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Gillian Burns

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Natalie Payne

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