Citizenship by Investment in UK

Updated on Thursday 18th February 2021

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Foreign citizens who want to move to other countries by making certain investments that guarantee them permanent residency or citizenship have various options, especially under programs developed by the governments of European countries. One of these countries is the United Kingdom in which buying a golden visa is relatively easy and cheap compared to other similar destinations.

If you want to obtain citizenship by investment in the UK, you should know that you can apply for an Innovator Visa which, at first, will grant you the status of a UK resident. The UK also has the Investor Visa Scheme which can be accessed by high net worth individuals.

If you are interested in buying a golden visa, our specialists in immigration by investment can guide you. Foreign citizens can rely on us for assistance in obtaining citizenship by investment in countries like the UK, the USA, Cyprus, Malta and other states which have such programs.


Investment citizenship options in the UK


Foreign citizens who want to buy a golden visa can choose the UK as their country of destination even after Brexit. The main reason to choose to relocate to the UK through investment is that there is two important residence by investment programs under which qualified persons can obtain the right to apply for British citizenship quite fast compared to other European countries.

The programs under which a foreign citizen can obtain residence by investment in the UK in 2021 are the Tier 1 Visa for Entrepreneurs which was replaced by the Innovator Visa and the Tier 1 Investor Visa. For each program, the requirements and qualifications are different, but so is the access to UK citizenship by investment.

If you have difficulties in choosing the best program for you, one of our golden visa specialists can advise you. If you are interested in EU citizenship by investment, we can direct you to other countries such as Cyprus, Malta, Italy or Spain.


Who can obtain citizenship by investment in the UK?


The two programs which can lead to citizenship by investment in the UK are destined for non-EU entrepreneurs who need to invest specific amounts of money in various areas of interest as designated by the government.

It must be noted that before being granted UK citizenship, successful candidates will first be issued temporary resident visas which can be converted into permanent residence permits.
Our agents can offer more information on the requirements to qualify as a foreign investor if you want to buy a golden visa for the UK.


Obtaining UK citizenship by investment through the Tier 1 Visa for Entrepreneurs in 2021


Non-EU citizens who want to obtain citizenship by investment must first apply for the Tier 1 Visa for Entrepreneurs and obtain a residence permit. The applicants must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for this program:
 
  • they are at least 18 years old and citizens of non-EU or non-EEA countries;
  • they can invest at least 200,000 GBP in the creation of a new business in the UK;
  • they must become employees of the company they register in the UK;
  • they must create at least 2 new jobs for UK citizens in the new company;
  • they must also pass an English language test in order to be allowed to enter the country;
  • the money to be invested must be obtained through legal means and must be free to dispose of.

The Entrepreneur Visa Scheme ended in March 2019, however, the Innovator Visa Program was created. This new scheme is available under the following conditions:
 
  • for natural persons residing outside the EEA and Switzerland;
  • for those who want to set up a company in the UK;
  • the business idea is supported by specific institutions approved by the British Government;
  • the investors have at least 50,000 GBP to inject in the company.
It is important for the applicant to be endorsed in order to obtain such a visa which will ultimately lead to British citizenship by investment.

Another important aspect to consider when applying for citizenship by investment in the UK in 2021 is that the candidates are required to start the process at least 3 months before the arrival in the country.

This is why it is advisable to get in touch with specialists who can assist with the preparation of the documents for buying a golden visa in the UK. Our consultants can also help those interested in acquiring citizenship by investment in other countries such as the USA or Cyprus.


Eligibility conditions for the Innovator Visa in the UK in 2021


In order to obtain the Innovator Visa in the UK, a person must meet the English language requirements which imply being a B2-level English speaker. For this purpose, the applicant must pass a test and obtain a certification that will be filed together with the application.

The candidate must also provide proof of self-sustenance which implies having at least 945 GBP as living costs for 3 months in a British bank account.

Apart from these, the applicant for UK citizenship by investment must meet specific endorsement requirements, which together with the lower amount to be invested represent the main differences between the new and the old program.

The applicant must submit proof of endorsement under the form of a letter from one of the approved institutions. There are several organizations that can vouch for applicants and our agents can help you find an appropriate one.

With respect to the business to invest in, it must be a new company and the object of activity must revolve around innovation. For this purpose, the applicant must provide proof that the business idea is new, viable and has great development potential.

After exiting the EU, the UK has made various changes to its visa application system in order to allow easy access to businesspersons. If you are interested in buying a golden visa with the purpose of obtaining citizenship by investment in the UK, our agents can help you. We remind you that we can also help you access EU citizenship by investment programs.


The Investor Visa Scheme for high net worth individuals in the UK


Under this scheme, foreign citizens from non-EU and non-EEA countries can obtain citizenship by investment in the UK provided that:
 
  1. they invest at least 2 million GBP in government bonds, local companies or share capital injections;
  2. make similar investments of a higher value, among which 5 million GBP and thus obtain permanent residence after 3 years;
  3. make similar investments, but with a value of 10 million GBP if they want to settle in the UK in 2 years;
  4. foreign citizens also have the possibility of working and studying in the UK under this program.
We would also like to mention that under this program, the applicants will also be subject to a few restrictions related to making investments in real estate development companies or to apply for public funds with the UK authorities.

The other requirements which apply to the candidates of both citizenship by investment programs for the UK refer to having clean criminal records (this aspect will be verified by the police in the UK) and to live in the UK at least 180 days in a calendar year.

Among the advantages of the Investor and Entrepreneur Visa Schemes, we mention that no interview is required when applying for any of them. Also, the application is verified within a maximum of 6 weeks.


The main differences between residency by investment programs in the UK


There are several differences between the two programs that lead to citizenship by investment in the UK. The most advantageous program is the Tier 1 Investor program as it allows the applicant to work and study in the UK. Innovator visa holders, on the other hand, are required to work in the company they have invested in.

There are no language requirements for those who apply for the Tier 1 Investor visa. These also have the possibility of settling in the UK after 2 years. However, the Innovator Visa is cheaper to obtain.

Also, the conditions for the two programs have been improved. Those who want to apply for UK citizenship by investment in 2021 can still benefit from many advantages. The program now can also be accessed by EU citizens, after the UK left the Union.

If you need advice on how to obtain citizenship by investment in UK in 2021 as an EU citizen, we can assist you. The eligibility criteria can be explained by our local golden visa specialists.


Why move to the UK for citizenship by investment?


There are many reasons to move to the UK despite the country leaving the European Union. Among these, the stable economy and its treaties with other states all over the world which offer numerous investment opportunities.

Apart from these, the UK offers a great quality of life and living standards for those who relocate here. Apart from these, under the Investor Visa, applicants can also bring family members. Moreover, depending on the amount the investor is willing to invest, access to British citizenship by investment by permanent residence:
 
  • 2 years for a minimum investment of 10 million GBP;
  • 3 years for an investment of 5 million GBP;
  • 5 years for an investment of 2 million GBP.
From this point of view, the UK is the only country to take a progressive approach to permanent residence which ultimately leads to citizenship by investment in 2021.

If you want to obtain citizenship by investment in the UK and need guidance, do not hesitate to contact us. We can also assist in buying golden visas in other countries around the world.