Immigration through investment to the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state. It is a country consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in the capital city of London. The UK has three Crown Dependencies and fourteen overseas territories that are not constitutionally part of the UK. These territories are remnants of the British Empire, which at its height in 1922 encompassed almost a quarter of the world’s land surface, the largest empire in history. As a result, British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The UK is a developed country, with the world’s sixth largest economy by nominal GDP and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity. It was the world’s first industrialized country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the economic and social cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. The UK nevertheless remains a great power with leading economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence. It is a Member State of the European Union, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, the Council of Europe and the World Trade Organization.
Migration to the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has experienced successive waves of migration. The Great Famine brought a large influx of Irish immigrants. Over 120,000 Polish veterans settled in Britain after World War II, unable to return home. In the 20th century, significant immigration from the British Empire occurred, driven largely by post-Second World War labor shortages. Many of these migrants came from the West Indies and from the Indian subcontinent. According to Office for National Statistics data the latest provisional official figures show that in 2009, 567,000 people arrived to live in the UK whilst 371,000 left, meaning that net inward migration was 196,000. A record 203,790 foreign nationals became British citizens in 2009. Also in 2009, 194,780 people were granted permanent settlement rights. Citizens of the European Union have the right to live and work in any member state, including the UK. Transitional arrangements apply to Romanians and Bulgarians whose countries joined the EU in January 2007. Research conducted by the Migration Policy Institute for the Equality and Human Rights Commission suggests that, between May 2004 and September 2009, 1.5 million workers migrated from the new EU member states to the UK, with two-thirds being Polish, but that many have returned home, with the result that the number of nationals of the new member states in the UK increased by some 700,000 over the same period. The late-2000s recession in the UK reduced the economic incentive for Poles to migrate to the UK, with the migration becoming temporary and circular. In 2009, for the first time since the enlargement, more nationals of the eight Central and Eastern European states that joined the EU in 2004 left the UK than arrived. The UK government is currently introducing a points-based immigration system for immigration from outside of the European Economic Area that will replace existing schemes. In June 2010, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition government brought in a temporary cap on immigration of those entering the UK from outside the EU, with the limit set as 24,100, in order to stop an expected rush of applications before a permanent cap is imposed in April 2011. The cap has caused tension within the coalition; with business secretary Vince Cable arguing that it is harming British businesses. The only immigration category to which limitations do not apply is the UK Investor category. Eligibility requirements, procedure, and advantages of this immigration through investment scheme are described below.
Main requirements to be eligible for the UK Investor Category:
- Investor must be over the age of 16 years;
- Investor must have money of his own under his control in the UK amounting to no less than £2,000,000 (funds cannot be borrowed);
- Investor intends to invest for 5 years not less than £2,000,000 of his capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies (other than those principally engaged in property investment and excluding investment by the applicant by way of deposits with a bank, building society or other enterprise whose normal course of business includes the acceptance of deposits).
- Investor intends to make the UK his main home by spending more time in the UK than somewhere else.
If we look closer to the UK Investor Category and compare it with other immigration through investment programs existing in the world we can easily see there are many reasons to consider considering the UK Investor Category:
- The amount of the required investment is significantly lower than in some other jurisdictions (Singapore, New Zealand).
- Unlike Canadian and Australian business and investment programs the UK Investor Category does not require applicants to have business experience. In other words 100 % of invested capital can be inherited or acquired in other legal way.
- Unlike Canadian and Australian investment programs the UK program does not involve medical evaluation and interview is often waived.
- Unlike Canadian and Australian investment programs the UK program does not require from applicants the English language proficiency supported by IELTS certificate.
- Processing of applications is very fast. It takes normally two months from submission of application to approval. So, normally in scope of two months investor and his family can get Temporary Residence in the UK for 3 years.
- The focus is on the Principal Applicant with respect to the residency requirements. It means that in cases when the core business in your home country requires much attention your wife can become the Principal Applicant. And you will be able to travel between your home country and the UK without fear of losing your residency because of insufficient days spent in the UK annually.
To sum up, if you are a high net worth individual and consider relocation to another country, the UK seems to be one of the best options possible for the following reasons:
- Reputable democracy with rule of law.
- Quality of life is high compared to many other jurisdictions.
- Business and working opportunities throughout the UK and European Union.
- Reputable educational system for your children.
- Attractive tax regime for high net worth individuals classified as “UK resident and non-domiciled”.
- Visa-free travel to many countries after obtaining a UK passport (which is possible after 6 years of residence in the country).
- Dual citizenship is recognized. You are not expected to renounce your previous citizenship before getting British passport.
- The main applicant, spouse and dependants under the age of 18 can obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residency) if the main applicant satisfies the three requirements above for at least five years.
- Other reasons of the series “I like and I want it”.
Questions and Answers Regarding Relocation to the UK:
Question: I would like to have more information about the possible residency in the United Kingdom by investment under loan option. I would appreciate if you could provide some further information which can possible convince me to start the process. Hope to get your professional advice as soon as possible.
Answer: Loan option was prohibited effective from 01.11.2014 (amendments to law). In case you English is good (must be confirmed by approved test, IELTS, for example) and you have £200,000 pounds to invest in your own business you can try another immigration sub-category (entrepreneur).
Question: I would like to discuss the UK Residency further after reading through your web site information. Do you have an office that I could meet your representative in either Singapore or Malaysia for an in depth discussion. I had spent 6+ year as a student in the 80′s and graduated from UK with a degree and. I am looking at either Entrepreneur or the Investment category.
Answer: We do not have office in Singapore or Malaysia. We are based in Moscow and we work with the best immigration lawyers in London. Residency on a student visas does not normally lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain. Only after 10 consequent years applicant can apply to change status from student to Permanent Residency. In your case if you opt for investor category you are expected to invest 2,000,000 pounds to get resident visa for 3 years, then after 3 years you must renew for another 2 years, and after 5 years of residency you can apply for Permanent Residency (provided the level of investment is 2,000,000 during the five years of temporary residency). After five years you will be able to sell bonds. Our legal fee here (for 3 years visa) is a fixed fee package and amounts to 20,000 pounds. Loan option is currently not available (if you do not have significant assets with some UK bank).
If you have any questions related to immigration through investment to the United Kingdom, contact us today