If you’ve been eyeballing the prospect of moving to the UK and settling in its green countryside, this Ultimate Guide to Citizenship by Investment Programs is for you!
The UK government operates its version of a ‘UK Golden Visa’ (or citizenship by investment) program, which allows high-net-worth individuals to gain residency in the UK — with ultimate citizenship — in return for an investment in the country’s economic success.
The immigration regulations are as follows: Applicants must invest substantial money and maintain it during their permanent residency in the United Kingdom to qualify for a UK visa. In addition, you must invest in active and trading UK-registered businesses to get permanent residency. While other citizenship by investment schemes are available that are controlled by various immigration regulations, few nations have a more solid economic structure and superior level of life than the United Kingdom.
Why the United Kingdom Citizenship By Investment?
The United Kingdom maintains a strategic presence in Europe, the United States, and Hong Kong. With outstanding public and private schools, a thriving corporate infrastructure, and excellent career prospects, living in the United Kingdom is desirable for ex-pats and high net worth people.
While the immigration regulations for getting British residence are extensive, successful investors might reside in the UK and enjoy unmatched freedoms.
Financial Requirements for the UK Investor Visa
To qualify for settlement in the UK, you must make a qualifying capital investment in share capital or loan capital in an operating UK-based business. Note that the following standards must be satisfied, with the duration for obtaining residence varying according to the minimum investment amount.
Tier 1 Investor Visa (Citizenship By Investment)
Tier 1 investment visas are available in the following categories, with Indefinite Leave to Remain granted by the investment amount.
The investment amounts must remain in your designated bank account for two years, or you may provide documentation of sufficient funds in your visa application. It is worth noting that some UK financial institutions will do further due diligence procedures on all investors to confirm the legitimacy of the investment funds. The original investor visa is valid for three years and four months, and the Tier 1 investment visa may be extended for an additional two years if the investment is maintained.
The UK Innovator Visa is an alternative to the UK investor visa.
Entrepreneurs are eligible for the Innovator visa in the United Kingdom. To apply for the UK Innovator visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Possess a minimum of £50,000 to invest in your company
- Demonstrate a feasible business plan that has the backing of a UK-based or relevantly recognized endorsing organization.
- Along with a viable company concept, you must submit a business plan and documentation of your involvement in the venture, as well as evidence of your credentials and experience operating a firm;
- Provide evidence that you have the necessary money to reside in the United Kingdom.
- Employ at least two individuals in the company
- Possess an upper-intermediate (B2) level of English.
The innovator path may lead to UK settlement after three years if you are eligible. However, note that the innovator visa allows you to work exclusively in the United Kingdom; this does not automatically transfer into residency.
The following criteria apply to applicants for the UK Investor Visa:
- Please note that applicants under 18 are not eligible.
- In addition, the primary candidate must be in excellent health.
- Possess an unblemished criminal and immigration record
- Possess adequate cash to invest in the UK investor visa program
- The funding source must be authentic.
- The money must be kept in a licensed or regulated financial institution.
- In the United Kingdom, funds must be classed as disposable.
- Additionally, you must submit your biometric information to be issued a biometric residency permit.
A notable benefit of the investor program is that there is no need for an English language test to get an investment visa. On the other side, this condition is required if you want to get citizenship.
Benefits of UK Citizenship
High-quality education and free health care services are available to everyone.
The fast visa application process for the residence permit
A British passport allows holders visa-free travel to over 160 countries worldwide, including the United States of America, under the visa waiver program and EU member states.
Spouses and dependant children under 18 are also eligible for a residence permit and lifetime citizenship in the United Kingdom.
Publicists have access to a wide range of options.
Successful candidates enjoy unrestricted freedom to live, work, and study in the UK and are free to leave and return as they want, courtesy of permanent resident status.
Diversity is celebrated
Already, several ethnic groups have established themselves in the UK, demonstrating its vibrancy and cultural diversity.
Step-by-Step Guide To UK Citizenship
1. APPLY FOR THE INVESTOR VISA OR INNOVATOR ONE
2. EXTEND YOUR INVESTOR VISA OR APPLY FOR SETTLEMENT
3. APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP
4. GET YOUR PASSPORT
Duration of the British Citizenship by Investment Application Process
Send in your application
Application to be submitted
Acquire residence in the United Kingdom
Renew your permanent resident status
Apply for British citizenship
Documentation for the investor visa
The Home Office requires the following documentation to process the investor visa application. Take note that the conditions for visa applications may change at any time, at the discretion of the UK government. To prevent disappointment, seek a legal adviser. Specialized businesses can assist you in making sense of the essential papers for your application to be successful.
- A valid passport with at least one blank page or another acceptable form of identification for travel; and
- A certificate of criminal history
- Evidence of the quantity and its location
- If the applicant has kept the cash for less than two years, confirmation of the source of the funds is required.
- Confirmation that the funds can be converted to pounds sterling and transferred to the United Kingdom, presuming they are held outside the United Kingdom at the time of application.
- Evidence shows the applicant has a bank account with a registered financial institution in the United Kingdom.
Applicants from certain countries must undergo a TB test and submit the tuberculosis test results to the Home Office to get an investment visa. Additionally, if any application documents are not written in English or Welsh, a certified translation is required.
Can I get British citizenship?
While the UK investment visa does not immediately result in British citizenship, naturalization is feasible after five to six years. To be eligible to apply for a British passport, you must pass the Life in the UK exam and have a working knowledge of the English language. Additionally, you must pass a moral character examination and have spent no more than 90 days outside the country in the preceding 12 months before filing your citizenship application. The period required to get a British passport successfully is five years if established using the expedited method, six years if settled five years following initial admission to the UK.