Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Immigration Corner | Can I invest my way to the UK?

Published:Tuesday | January 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

Is it true that you can get to stay in the United Kingdom if you invest there?

- AT

Dear AT,

A person can apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if he/she invests £2,000,000 or more in the United Kingdom and if that person is from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland and if some other eligibility requirements are met. Also, that person must have access to at least£2,000,000 in investment funds to apply.

The earliest that a person can make an application is three months before travelling, and a decision on the visa application is usually made within three weeks; however, this may vary from country to country.

The fees that an applicant will pay for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa will depend on that person's situation and where and how the application is made.

If a person is making an application for him/herself or planning to extend or switch by post, the cost is £1,530 and it is the same cost for each dependent. A person will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of the application and the cost of this should be checked before making the application.

Persons can use the super-premium service to make an application or extend in person. The cost is a one-off fee of £8,750, plus application fees for each person of: £2,030 for the 'main applicant' and £2,030 for each dependent. This service may be used for up to four 'main applicants' and a maximum of ten persons per visit. Please note that 'main applicants' are the persons with access to the investment funds.

A person can go and stay in the United Kingdom with a Tier 1 (Investor) visa for a maximum of three years and four months and can apply to extend this visa for another two years.

A person can invest £2,000,000 or more in United Kingdom government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading United Kingdom registered companies; work or study; apply to settle after two years if investing £10 million; and apply to settle after three years if investing £5 million.

A person cannot invest in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development; or work as a professional sports person or sports coach; or get public funds.

In addition, a person cannot work as a doctor or dentist in training unless one of the following applies: that person has a primary degree at bachelor's level or above in medicine or dentistry from a United Kingdom institution that holds a Tier 4 sponsor license or is a United Kingdom-recognised or listed body; that person worked as a doctor or dentist in training the last time he/she was in the United Kingdom; and neither of those conditions were part of the terms and conditions on a previous visa.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (U.K.).