A report by the UK government released earlier this year shows that the UK has maintained its position as the number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment globally. But did you know that foreign investors investing in the UK may also apply for their own visa?

The annual investment data provided by UKTI for the 2014/2015 financial year indicate a 12% increase in FDI projects compared to the 2013/2014 year, with the UK ranking as the highest FDI stock in Europe and the 3rd one after the USA and China. Not only did that create a large number of jobs over the year in the UK but it also shows an increasing interest for foreign investors to invest in companies based in the UK. One of the advantages stemming from significant investments in the UK is the possibility of applying for an Investor Visa (Tier 1) in order to settle in the UK with their family.

Who can apply?
Any person over 18 with a UK bank account wishing to invest at least £2,000,000 in the UK. It should be noted however, that investment is restricted to companies which are not mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development. Additionally, you must be resident from outside the EEA.

How long does the process take?
Applicants for the Investor Visa can apply up to 3 months before their date of travel to the UK. The timeframe before receiving a decision is around 3 weeks.

What are the advantages of the visa?
The visa may be highly relevant to investors wishing to settle in the UK with their family on the long-term as it will allow the visa owner to reside in the UK for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months with possibility of extending it for another 2 years. There is also a possibility to apply for indefinite leave after 2 years for investments above £10,000,000 or after 3 years for investments above £5,000,000.

Where we come in:
The team of experienced solicitors at EA Law Solicitors will be happy to assist you in completing the procedure for visa application as well as conferring you with all the relevant information in relation to your stay in the UK.