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OTS Solicitors success in Tier 1 (Investor) Visa

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By Teni Shahiean and Hans Sok Appadu

Teni Shahiean is Principal Solicitor and co-founder of specialist Immigration law firm OTS Solicitors. She is a Legal 500 Immigration solicitor and has a wealth of experience in business immigration law, commercial law and employment law. She regularly advises both business and individuals on all aspects of Immigration law. Teni is frequently invited to speak on Immigration matters on television and in print media. She recently delivered a seminar in Armenia on the application of the Refugee Convention. Hans is a senior Level 2 Accredited advisor and Trainee Solicitor with OTS Solicitors.

Case Study

Our client was assisted by Mr Hans Sok Appadu and supervised by Teni Shahiean. The client was an Indian national who was studying in the UK and wished to remain in the UK to build on the investment he had already made in his studies in the country. He was keen to obtain advice from the best Immigration lawyers in London. With the result of the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum on EU membership creating a degree of uncertainty for our client, we took time to advise on the impact this might have. Satisfied with the opportunities the UK would continue to offer him, we were instructed to proceed with his application for a Tier 1(investor) Visa. We secured a Super Premium Service from the Home Office, ensuring that the application was dealt with efficiently. We also drafted the details of his claim, ensuring that the application succeeded.

Who We Are

OTS Solicitors are top UK Immigration lawyers, highly ranked in the Legal 500 for Immigration and Human Rights matters and have recently won business immigration Law Firm of the Year 2018, awarded by Corporate Insider. Teni and Hans regularly represent High Net Worth individuals looking to obtain Tier 1 (entrepreneur) or Tier 1 (investor) visas and recently concluded a successful application for a Tier 1 (investor) visa, complicated by the backdrop of Brexit, something which is concerning many of the best Immigration solicitors in London at the moment.

Tier 1 (investor) Visas

The Tier 1 (investor) Visa provides a route to the UK based on the individual investing significant sums of money into the UK. It is an ideal route for high net worth individuals looking to settle in the UK. Unlike other visa routes under the Points Based System, such as the Tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa, it is relatively straightforward to qualify under this route, and is the route favoured by prominent individuals such as Roman Abramovich.

The requirements for a Tier 1 (investor) Visa

The key requirement to qualify for a Tier 1 (investor) Visa is the amount of funds available to invest in the UK. There must be a minimum of £2 million in the applicant’s control available to invest. This is an objective criterion, compared to say, the need to demonstrate business expertise required for the Tier 1 (entrepreneur) Visa.

The funds must be invested within the first 3 months of being in the UK, and must be invested for 5 years in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies, although not companies that are principally engaged in property investment. Investment cannot be in offshore companies. Criminality and anti-money laundering checks apply, and individuals from some countries may need to have a TB test, but overall, the application process is very straightforward.

Compared to the Tier 1 (entrepreneur) Visa, the Investor Visa involves significantly less preparation and paperwork. Unlike other visa routes under the Points Based System, there is no need for the applicant to demonstrate a knowledge of the English language, which is another bonus for many high net worth individuals looking to settle in the UK. The outcome of a Tier 1 (investor) Visa application is also more certain compared to other types of visa.

The changes to the Tier 1 (investor) route

Following concerns that the Tier 1 (investor) route was open to abuse by those looking to launder money through the UK, the Home Office tightened to rules around the Tier 1 (investor) Visa route in 2015. The minimum amount available for investment increased to £2 million and it became a requirement for applicants to have a UK bank account, placing a responsibility on financial institutions to check the source of the money to be invested. It has been reported that there has been an 84% reduction in applications for this type of visa once this new rule came into force. Roman Abramovich, mentioned above, has been reported as experiencing difficulties with the renewal of his Tier 1 (investor) Visa following the tightening up of the rules.

Settlement in the UK under a Tier 1 (investor) Visa

An applicant who succeeds in a Tier 1 (investor) Visa application can then work or study in the UK and is expected to make the UK his or her main home, along with his family. The visa is granted initially for 40 months, after which an extension can be obtained. This visa route offers an accelerated path to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK depending on how much is invested. Most applications for settlement must be made after 5 years, however for an investment of £5 million, this reduces to 3 years; an investment of £10 million to 2 years. Dependants must wait the full 5 years regardless of how quickly the visa holder may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

OTS Solicitors are highly experienced at representing high net worth individuals in their visa applications, whether Tier 1 (investor) Visas or Tier 1 (entrepreneur) Visas, and we regularly achieve successful outcomes for our clients, as we did on this case. To book your appointment to talk with one of our Immigration solicitors, please call 0203 959 9123.

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