United Kingdom

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United Kingdom Residence

The United Kingdom is one of the world’s most significant economic and political powers, offering a high quality of life, and strategically located close to mainland Europe and North America. It is ideal for conducting international business, and for global families seeking a cosmopolitan lifestyle.

With its rich and distinctive history, the United Kingdom abounds with cultural diversity. London, its capital city, is one of the most influential financial centres in the world, and it maintains the highest GDP of any city in Europe. It is for these reasons that many multinational corporations and financial institutions have their headquarters in London.

The United Kingdom’s education system is consistently ranked among the top ten in the world, and comprises of such universities as Oxford and Cambridge – arguably the best and most famous universities in the world.

The Investor Visa Programme

Under the Investor Visa Programme, non-EU nationals may remain in the United Kingdom if they are willing to invest at least £2 million in Britain’s economy.

Permanent Residence (i.e. Indefinite Leave to Remain) may be applied for after a continuous period of time, the length of which depends on the level of the applicant’s investment. With a £2 million investment, applicants must reside in the United Kingdom for 5 years before they can obtain Permanent Residence. With a £5 million investment, applicants need only reside in the United Kingdom for 3 years before they can obtain Permanent Residence. Finally, with an investment of £10 million, Permanent Residence may be obtained after only 2 years.

Importantly, Permanent Residence will only be issued under the circumstances noted above if the applicant passes the ‘Life in the UK’ test and the Government’s English language test (or equivalent), and if the applicant can demonstrate that he or she was not outside of the United Kingdom for more than 180 days in a period of 12 months.

Once applicants have legally resided in the United Kingdom for 5 years, they may be eligible to apply for citizenship.

Applications for the Investor Visa must be made from the applicant’s original country of residence. The application is made under Tier 1 of the UK points-based system, and requires that applicants score sufficient points based on their investment funds.

Applicants may apply for a visa up to 3 months before their date of travel to the United Kingdom. The decision on whether to issue an investor visa is made in around 3 weeks.

The Law

Part 6A of the Immigration Act 1971 sets out the legal framework for Tier 1 (Investor) visas in the United Kingdom. The Immigration Rules, Directorate Instructions, and policy guidance are also relevant and important documents.

Family Involvement

Applicants under the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa Programme may bring their spouse, or same-sex or unmarried civil partner and their children under the age of 18 to the United Kingdom with them. Dependants will need to complete a separate application. Spouses, partners, and children have the right to work in the United Kingdom as dependants under the Investor visa, and may be eligible for Permanent Residence at the same time as the main applicant. A dependant may apply at the same time or after the main visa-holder’s application.

English Requirement

There is no requirement whereby an investor must demonstrate an ability to speak English in order to qualify for entry into the United Kingdom. However, if the investor and his or her family members wish to apply for Permanent Residence, they must pass an English language test or be the holders of an English-taught, UK-equivalent degree. Furthermore, they must pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test, which consists of multiple choice questions about living in the United Kingdom. They must be able to read and understand English in order to answer the questions on the test.

British Citizenship

One year after obtaining Permanent Residence (i.e. Indefinite Leave to Remain), an applicant may become eligible to apply for citizenship if he or she has:

  1. Lived in the United Kingdom for 5 years prior to the application;
  2. Spent no more than 450 days outside of the United Kingdom in the previous 5 years; and
  3. Spent no more than 90 days outside of the United Kingdom in the year immediately preceding the application for citizenship.

Successful applicants for citizenship may thereafter receive a British passport – one of the best travel documents in the world, with visa-free access to over 170 countries. Moreover, as EU citizens, British citizens have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom and anywhere in the European Union, without restriction.


Residents of the United Kingdom can take advantage of a range of benefits, including:

  • Life in a major economic and financial centre, recognized as such both in Europe and in the rest of the world

  • Easy access to other major business hubs and financial centres

  • A stable and democratic political system, as well as a respected legal system

  • An established and secure system of property ownership

  • The opportunity to attend highly respected educational institutions

  • Attractive tax planning options for non-domiciled residents

  • Free healthcare and world-renowned medical specialists

The benefits of the United Kingdom’s Investor Visa Programme include:

  • Inclusion of the applicant’s family in the visa application

  • The ability to apply for Permanent Residence (i.e. Indefinite Leave to Remain) after 5 years, and citizenship after that.

  • Citizens of the United Kingdom may travel visa-free to about 174 countries and territories.

Visa-Free Travel

Citizens of the United Kingdom can benefit from visa-free travel to about 174 countries, listed below. Please note however that visa-free travel to the listed countries is subject to change. We strongly recommend contacting the relevant Government authorities and agencies before travelling.

Application Process

The process of applying for a visa to the United Kingdom is rigorous and requires diligent preparation. Application timelines can vary and be difficult to predict, although they usually depend on how easily an applicant can access the required documentation, as well as the complexity of the application as a whole.

The process may be simplified into the following steps:

Step 1: Discussion of the Programme with a member of the CS Global Partners team, who will assist you in selecting the best investment option available.

Step 2: Become a client of CS Global Partners, and begin collecting documents for your application.

Step 3: Place at least £2 million in a recognized financial institution.

Step 4: Submit the application from your country of origin.

Step 5: Approval from the Government of the United Kingdom.

Step 6: Travel to the United Kingdom and make the required investment within 3 months of obtaining your visa.

Step 7: Apply for Permanent Residence 5 years after obtaining your visa.

How we can help

At CS Global Partners we understand that applying for an alternative citizenship can be a complex and daunting process. This is why we make the application process as easy for our clients as possible.

We offer the following standard services:

  • A dedicated relationship manager as your single point of contact throughout your application.
  • Professional guidance on the application procedure and support throughout the process.
  • Documentation preparation and validation.
  • Representation on your behalf before the Government.
  • Management and resolution of any legal queries related to the application.
  • Additional services available on request for clients wishing to utilise our partner network to support their application, including the following:
    • Concierge services
    • Property investment and advice
    • Notary Public services
    • Relocation assistance
    • Translation services
    • Tax planning
    • Medical services
    • Trust planning
    • Banking services
    • Fiduciary services

The Investment

Applicants under the Investor Visa Programme must invest a minimum of £2 million in UK government bonds, or share or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies.

Applicants who make the £2 million investment receive a visa and have the right to apply for Permanent Residence (i.e. Indefinite Leave to Remain) after 5 years of continuous residence in the United Kingdom.

Applicants who wish to obtain Permanent Residence earlier may make larger investments. With a £5 million investment, applicants obtain the right to apply for Permanent Residence after 3 years of continuous residence in the United Kingdom. With a £10 million investment, applicants obtain the right to apply for Permanent Residence after 2 years of continuous residence in the United Kingdom.

Investment Criteria

The funds to be used for the investment:

  • Must not be invested through an offshore company or trust
  • Must not be held in offshore custody
  • Must not have a loan secured against them whereby another party would have a claim against the funds if loan repayments were not met
  • Must be held in a regulated financial institution
  • Must be disposable in the United Kingdom
  • Must be converted to Pounds Sterling (£, GBP) and held in the United Kingdom at the time of the application, and not consist of non-cash assets
  • Must have been made within the previous 12 months, if already invested in the United Kingdom before the application was made
  • May be used in joint funds, or funds held solely by an applicant’s partner.