Tier 1 Investment

Quick facts

The Tier 1 investor route is the only means by which non-EEA investors can move to the UK to be involved in existing businesses (other than as employees). Investors who commit a minimum of £2m to a UK business may be able to apply for a Tier 1 investor visa.

Tier 1 investment is an increasingly popular type of investment for businesses looking to increase working capital without having to give away a large amount of equity. It has one other potential advantage: your business could gain exposure to another market through your Tier 1 investor.

As well as being a UK registered company, you must be considered to be active and trading. In other words you must:

  • be registered with Companies House in the UK
  • be registered with HM Revenue and Customs for corporation tax and PAYE
  • have accounts and a UK business bank account all showing regular trading of your own goods or services
  • have at least two UK resident employees who are not your directors

The third bullet point may of course rule out some start-ups.

  • £2m, they might be able to apply for the Tier 1 investor visa and might be eligible for settlement after 5 years
  • £5m, they might be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain settlement after 3 years and for British Citizenship after that
  • £10m, they might be eligible for settlement after 2 years and for British Citizenship after that

If you have held your investment funds for less than 2 years then you will need to prove the source of your funds and, and without exception, the Home Office will need to be satisfied as to the provenance of your funds (source of origin for finance will need to satisfy anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism, anti-human trafficking and other verification checks).

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.

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