High-net worth migration: UK Tier 1 (Investor) Visa or Australian Investor Visa?

by GuestBlogger on November 6, 2012

Post by Richmond Chambers.

If you are a high-net-worth individual and you are considering relocating overseas, then both the United Kingdom and Australia offer attractive investor visa programmes that may allow you to enter, remain and achieve permanent resident status on the basis of a substantial financial investment.  There are, however, key differences between the UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa and the Australian Investor visa (subclass 162) schemes which it is important to understand when considering the most appropriate option.

In order to qualify to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant, you will need to demonstrate that you have:

  • At least GBP £1 million which you intend to invest in the UK; or
  • At least GBP £2 million in net personal assets, plus a loan of GBP £1 million from a financial institution that is regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority which you intend to invest in the UK;

The investment funds must be held in a regulated financial institution within the United Kingdom or overseas and be disposable in the UK.

In order to qualify to enter Australia as an Investor (subclass 162) migrant, you will need to demonstrate that you are under 45 years of age and that you have:

  • At least AUD $2,250,000 of net assets for the two fiscal years immediately before your application is made; and
  • Already made a government approved designated investment of AUD $1,500,000 in a state or territory of Australia at the time of decision; and
  • A minimum of three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more main businesses or eligible investments, and
  • Maintained direct involvement in either managing a qualifying business in which you (or you and your spouse) have an ownership interest of at least 51 per cent of the business where the turnover is less than AUD $400,000 per annum, 30 per cent of the business where the turnover is AUD $400,000 or more per annum, or 10 per cent where the business is a publicly listed company; and
  • Passed an English Language Test.

It is important to note that, unlike the requirements imposed by the Australian investor visa scheme, whereas UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa holders can, if they wish, rely on funds that have already been invested in the UK during the 12 month period immediately prior to application, there is no requirement to transfer to, or invest funds in, the UK before making a successful UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa application.  Under the UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa programme, there is also no minimum term for which the investment funds must have been held.  A further difference is that there is no maximum age requirement.

A further important difference between the UK and Australian investor visa programmes is that whilst it is necessary to demonstrate a minimum of three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more main businesses or eligible investments and pass an English language test in order to secure an Australian investor visa, the UK Tier 1 (investor) visa scheme imposes no such requirements.  A UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa can be obtained without any prior business experience and without any English language competence.

In summary therefore, the requirements for entry to the UK as a UK Tier 1 (Investor) are considerably less onerous than the requirements for entry to Australia under the Australian Investor visa (subclass 162) scheme.  For high-net worth individuals seeking a straightforward route to settlement in the UK, the UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa is therefore an attractive option.

For further information about applying to enter, or remain in, the UK as a Tier 1 (Investor), contact our immigration barristers in Covent Garden, London:

Richmond Chambers

Seven Henrietta Street

Covent Garden

London

WC2E 8PS

T: +44 (0)203 617 9173

F: +44 (0)203 004 1611

E: info@richmondchambers.com

W: www.richmondchambers.com

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