Sadly, UK Tier 1 Investor visa is now abolished and it is no longer possible to apply. This blog post is left unaltered for historic purposes only.
The UK immigration status of the EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals and their family members has changed following Brexit.
It is no longer possible to arrive in the UK just holding an EU (EEA/Swiss) passport if the intention is to remain in the UK. For the new arrivals an ID card is no longer the accepted travel document and passport needs to be shown at the border.
If you have arrived and lived in the UK prior to the 31st December 2020, you may still be eligible to apply for the pre-settled or settled status (EUSS) in the UK.
However, if you are a new arrival and do not have family connections who could sponsor your visa in the UK, you will need to explore suitable UK immigration categories that may be suitable for your personal circumstances.
One such category is the UK Tier 1 Investor visa.
Let’s compare the settled status and Tier 1 Investor visa.
Who can apply for the EUSS?
EUSS is the abbreviation of the European Union Settlement Scheme. It is reserved for EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals and their family members.
The family members can be third country nationals as long as there is sufficient degree for a family connection.
The deadline to apply for EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals has now passed (30 June 2021). However, if there is a reasonable excuse a late application may be still accepted.
This immigration category remains open for the family members of EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals who have secured their own settled or pre-settled status under the EUSS.
In these circumstances, the deadline does not apply as long as the requirements for the application to be successful are met.
When to apply for the Investor visa?
Tier 1 Investor visa, prior to Brexit, was the option that could be considered for non-EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals and not by the EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals and their family members.
Brexit changed this and Tier 1 Investor visa is a viable option to the EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals and their family members who are new arrivals to the UK and have no prior UK immigration history and have not secured settled or pre-settled status.
If these circumstances apply to you, then Tier 1 Investor visa may be a viable option for you.
The duration of the visa
If you have secured a settled status, it means that you are free from UK immigration control and may be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
If you currently hold a pre-settled status, you may be able to upgrade your UK immigration to settled status in due course. You will need to demonstrate that you have been legally resident in the UK for 5 years and meet the rest of the mandatory requirements.
The duration of Tier 1 Investor visa is dependent on the amount of qualifying investments made in the UK.
The larger the amount made, the shorter the duration of the visa and the time interval is shorter to acquire the indefinite leave to remain and become free from UK immigration control.
The sooner it is possible to become eligible to apply for British citizenship.
Do you need to make a substantial financial investment to secure your visa?
No. If you are eligible and meet the requirements to secure your settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, then it is not necessary to make any substantial investments.
Even the application process is entirely free and made simple to apply through the app.
This is also true for the family members who are joining EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals who have secured their settled status in the UK.
However, if you are applying for the Tier 1 Investor visa, you will need to commit to invest a substantial amount into qualifying investments in the UK for your application to be successful.
The starting amount is £2M. However, you may choose to invest £2M, £5M or £10M depending how quickly you want to become eligible to apply for the indefinite leave to remain and become free of UK immigration control.
When EU/EEA/Swiss nationals should apply for EUSS or Investor visa?
UK Tier 1 Investor visa is once again a viable option for EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals and their family members who are no longer eligible to apply for the settled or pre-settled status (EUSS).
Tier 1 Investor may offer sufficient flexibility if you do have the necessary funds available to make qualifying investments in the UK for the purposes of this visa.
Registration for the EUSS remains an attractive option if the necessary requirements are met.
Therefore, you need to consider whether you continue to be eligible to process your EUSS registration even after the deadline.
Not sure about the best way forward for you and need a consultation with a qualified expert, schedule a phone call with me!
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Saule Voluckyte, M.A.E.S, LL.B, FAIA
I have been working exclusively with UHNWI in Mayfair, London since January 2008. I built specialist knowledge and expertise required to serve ultra high net worth individuals investing, operating and relocating to the UK or Switzerland.
Within the industry, I am the single adviser who is able to traverse the different areas of expertise and bring a comprehensive approach across: global structuring, UK immigration, international taxation and FOREX to develop their global wealth strategy, while they build, grow and expand their wealth worldwide.
Previous experience as one of the senior advisors for the government, made me a go-to person when delicate and uncomfortable scenarios involving heads of state need to be handled with care and preserve privacy.