Relocating to the UK

Only a long-term visa, or a residence permit, allows a foreigner to move to the UK and live in the country all year round. Such a permit cannot be obtained by investment.

If an investor wants to spend more than 180 days a year in the UK and doesn’t plan to become a British citizen, investment programs of Commonwealth countries might help.

Learn which status to get to relocate or spend much time in the UK.

Visas to the UK

A Start-up Visa or an Innovator Visa may suit investors who want to do business in the UK.

The Start-up Visa is designed for entrepreneurs who plan to open a company in the UK. A business idea must be innovative, different from other offers on the market and profitable in the prospect. A British university or an organisation that supports entrepreneurs must approve a business plan for the start-up.

The applicant must confirm their proficiency in English on the B2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The visa is valid for two years. It cannot be extended, and it doesn’t lead to citizenship. Its holder must switch to another visa to stay in the UK for longer than two years.

The Innovator Visa sets the same requirements for applicants as the Start-up Visa. In addition, the applicant must invest at least £50,000 in a business. A business plan is to be presented to an endorsing body.

The visa is valid for three years, subject to extension. The holder can obtain an Indefinite Leave to Remain after three years of living in the country and apply for citizenship a year later.

One can also get a long-term UK visa for employment, family reunification and other purposes.

Material prepared by an expert

Frequently asked questions

  • Is it easy to relocate to the UK?

    It is rather hard to relocate to the UK. To make it you must have a job offer, relatives who live there, prodigious talents or be enrolled in a British university. You would also need a big amount of money as living in the country is expensive.

    If you would like to stay in the UK for a short period of time you should consider obtaining a passport of Malta, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and Vanuatu. With it you can spend up to 180 days in a year in the UK.

  • How much does it cost to move to the UK?

    If you’re moving alone to feel comfortable it is reasonable to have at least £12,000 for the first six months of living in the UK. It will allow you to calmly look for a job and an apartment. A family of four would need around £25,000 for half a year.

  • How do I permanently move to the UK?

    To move to the UK for a long period you need to have a residence permit. You can obtain it by employment, family reunification, marriage and some other ways. There are also two visas for entrepreneurs who plan to open a company in the UK: the Start-Up Visa and the Innovator Visa.

    The Start-Up Visa is given for two years and can’t be extended. The Innovator Visa requires you to invest £50,000 in a business. It is granted for three years and can be prolonged. In both cases an entrepreneur must present a business-plan.

    The UK residence permit can’t be obtained by investment.

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