Countries

UNITED KINGDOM

Residence Program
A Brief Overview

Although the UK is a member of the European Union (EU), it does not belong to the European Monetary Union (EMU). Its currency is the British Pound Sterling (GBP). The country belongs to the Commonwealth of Nations and is a (permanent) member of the United Nations Security Council as well as NATO.

 

In 2008 the UK revised the application process for non-EU nationals to enter and gain residence in the country. The new process is based on a points system and has five tiers. The country aims to attract high net-worth individuals and their immediate family members (including a spouse and all children younger than 18 years at submission) with its Tier 1 Investor Visa. The Tier 1 Visa offers temporary residence status, which may result in permanent residence and eventually citizenship.

 

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The Tier 1 Investor category requires an investment of at least GPB 2 million in either UK government bonds or share/loan capital of actively trading companies registered in the UK that are not primarily involved in the (real estate) property market. The full investment amount must be maintained for a holding period of five years. The initial Investor Visa is valid for a period of three years and four months. At the end of this period, the main applicant and their dependents may apply for their stay to be extended for a further two years, provided qualifying criteria have been met. After a second extension –– in other words, after having legally resided in the UK for five continuous years –– the family may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

 

Only when ILR has been granted are applicants expected to demonstrate English language ability. The ILR permits applicants to work and study in the UK as well as do business there. How long it takes to qualify for permanent residence depends on the investment amount.

Benefits of British Residence
Investment Options
  • Britain, and specifically London, offers a highly respected international business environment

 

  • British airports offer direct international flights to major cities worldwide

 

  • Low taxes for high net-worth applicants who reside in Britain but are not domiciled

 

  • The country’s schools and universities enjoy international renown

 

  • Residence offers a way to eventually gain citizenship

 

  • Applicants have a wide range of investment options

To obtain a residence permit, applicants must choose one of the following three options:

 

  • An investment of GBP 2 million makes the applicant eligible for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years

 

  • An investment of GBP 5 million makes the applicant eligible for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after three years

 

  • An investment of GBP 10 million makes the applicant eligible for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after two years
The Process

The application process comprises the following steps:

  • Opening an investment bank account regulated in the UK with a balance of at least GBP 2 million three months before application
  • Successful applicants are granted a visa for a period of three years and four months before moving to the UK
  • Making the required investment within three months after arrival in the UK
  • After three years and four months, the main applicant may apply from within the UK to have their stay extended. A two-year extension will be granted depending on whether the applicant has met all the criteria
  • After five years of continuous residence in the UK, the applicant is granted ILR. This is dependent on proof that the main applicant has legally resided in the UK continuously for five years (or less, depending on the investment amount) and that the Investor Visa requirements have been met. Applicants and dependents aged 18 years and older must demonstrate English language ability and knowledge of British culture. This condition does not apply to adult dependents aged 65 years and older
  • Applicants may apply for British citizenship one year after obtaining an ILR. Applicants must not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days over the period of five years, and 90 days in the last year before applying for citizenship
Investment Summary
OptionMinimum Investment
Government bonds, share capital or loan capital (with holding period of at least five years before ILR status can be granted)GBP 2 million
Government bonds/share or loan capital (with holding period of at least three years before ILR status can be granted)GBP 5 million
Government bonds/share or loan capital (with holding period of at least two years before ILR status can be granted)GBP 10 million

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