The issue of Investing the Funds when considering UK Investor Visa

The UK Investor Visa is often viewed as an easy entry route for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) into UK, as the rules may at first seem straightforward. However, in reality, Investors do face practical difficulties in transferring funds across jurisdictions and making a qualifying investment with a suitable firm.

We often find that the later extension criteria can often be overlooked during the initial grant period. This article aims to help Investors in ensuring their money is invested timely and correctly, avoiding any future complications.

The legal requirements to consider when considering UK Investor Visa

You must have invested the funds within 3 months of entering the UK or visa granted:

  • Before 6 November 2014: £1 million

A minimum of £750,000 is to be invested in UK Government Bonds, Share Capital or Loan Capital in active and trading UK companies. The remaining maximum of £250,000 can be invested in property or financial assets in the UK. The amount must have been maintained throughout your period of leave. If the value of assets had dropped, this must have been corrected before the end date of the next reporting period or within 6 months of the completion date of sale, whichever is sooner.

  • After 6 November 2014: £2 million

To be invested UK Government Stocks and Shares or a registered UK company. The amount Must be maintained throughout your period of leave.

Example of our success with a complicated Tier 1 Investor Visa case

Our client and his family entered the UK several weeks after the grant of the Tier 1 Investor entry clearance visa. However, he failed to invest the funds within 3 months. This was due to several factors including problems with money transfer due to currency controls abroad and failed due diligence resulting in multiple rejections by various investment firms to open the investment account. He was finally accepted by an investment management firm but again encountered delay due to the bank holidays in between transactions. We successfully argued that the late investment was unavoidable as the client had genuinely done all his could to invest the funds on time, and the delays were due to the procedures by third party financial institutions, beyond his control. We successfully argued the circumstances amounting to the delay were due to “compelling reasons” and the visas were granted promptly with the Super Premium Service.

Our legal argument: Compelling Reasons

If you could not invest the £1 million or £2 million funds within 3 months of UK entry or visa granted, the Home Office may still accept any late investment if there are “compelling reasons”. The Home Office policy guidance explains that:  “Compelling reasons for the delay in investing” must be unforeseeable and outside of the applicant’s control. Delays caused by the applicant failing to take timely action will not be accepted. Where possible, the applicant must have taken reasonable steps to mitigate such delay.

Nevertheless, we strongly advise clients to invest within the time limit, whenever Possible.

If you do have any concerns with your Tier 1 Investor Visa entry clearance, extension or Indefinite Leave to Remain application, please book a consultation with us for a confidential discussion.

See how many UK Investor Visas were granted in 2016

The above article does not constitute advice and is informative only.

Prepared by Lesley Alexander, Associate at QC Immigration.

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