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Investor Visa Applications
In order to qualify for an Investor visa, you must have at least £2 million in an account in your name to invest in permitted investments. If you have the right amount of investment and are looking to making a visa application, our team of immigration solicitors can give you all the advice and assistance you need.
We will not only explain how you can make sure you are eligible and take care of the details of your application, but we will also help you invest in the UK or set up a business here.
How JMW Can Help
The process of applying for immigration into the UK as a high-net-worth individual can be complicated, particularly as the rules are complex and the legislation governing them changes frequently. Our service will make immigration to the UK an effortless experience, and we can provide advice and guidance for spouses and dependents.
Our immigration team will explain clearly the requirements you need to meet, check that you are able to meet them, and advise on the most appropriate application for you to make. We will monitor your investments to ensure that you continue to meet the requirements of the investor visa since failure to adequately maintain investments can result in a visa being curtailed.
Once your application has been submitted for consideration, we will liaise with the Home Office if any queries are raised and follow the progress of your application until completion.
If you'd like to find out more about the process of obtaining a UK investor visa and how we can help you, download our Investing in the UK brochure.
How to Invest in the UK
Following a period of review, new immigration rules, which took effect on 29th March 2019, impose more stringent regulations and requirements on Investor visa applications. The new rules exclude UK government bonds from permissible investments, and you now need to invest £2 million or more into UK share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies or pooled investments that receive funding from a UK or devolved government department or one of its agencies.
The definition of an ‘active and trading’ UK company has been tightened since the new rules were introduced. Now, you must provide stronger evidence that the UK company is trading by proving the following:
- The UK company is registered with Companies House in the UK
- It is registered with HMRC for corporation tax and PAYE
- Annual financial accounts and UK business bank accounts show regular trading
- At least two UK employees, who are not directors, are employed there
If you have made investments into any of the above within the last 12 months, this is also acceptable. The Home Office is happy to consider these as part of your visa application as long as you can provide evidence of holdings.
However, the following investment methods are not permitted:
- Investments through an off-shore company or trust
- Open-ended investment companies, investment trust companies or pooled investment vehicles; however, pooled investments that receive funding from a UK or devolved government department or one of its agencies are permitted investments
- Companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development. This prevents investment in companies whose main function is to own or manage land or buildings. You can, however, invest in construction firms, manufacturers or retailers
- Using deposits with banks or building societies whose normal course of business includes the acceptance of deposits
- ISAs, premium bonds or saving certificates issued by the National Savings and Investment Agency
- Investments that rely on leveraged investment funds
Since the new rules were introduced, if an intermediary vehicle, such as a wealth management company, is used to arrange the investment, they must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The investor will also need to provide evidence on the final destination of the investment, as well as the funds that were transferred there.
In addition, the new rules require you to demonstrate that the £2 million investment is the price paid rather than the market value. You must also demonstrate that you will reinvest any proceedings of the sale of investments into other qualifying investments, whether or not they are sold at a gain or loss. You will have more time to arrange this, which is usually the end of the next reporting period, or within six months of the sale date - whichever is sooner.
Also, if you sell part of your investments at a loss, you no longer need to invest additional capital; however, you will be required to maintain all of your original capital within your investment portfolio. Trading of capital will be permitted provided you do not withdraw any capital.
At the outset, it is important to invest more than the minimum threshold so that the surplus can cover any portfolio management fees, transaction costs and investment tax, as these costs cannot be paid from the minimum qualifying investment.
Talk to Us
If you’re looking to invest in the UK, our immigration solicitors can help you with applying for an Investor visa. Contact us today on +44203 675 7600, or fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.