Can a Tier 1 (Investor) visa applicant rely on funds held in a business?
The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment in the UK. Under the Tier 1 (Investor) requirements, in order to qualify for an initial grant of leave in this category applicants must, amongst other requirements, have money of their own, under their own control, held in a regulated financial institution, and which is disposable in the UK, amounting to not less than £2 million. A question that we are often asked by our Tier 1 (Investor) clients is whether they can rely on funds that are held, not in their own personal bank account, but in a business bank account?
Can a Tier 1 (Investor) rely on funds held in a business?
Interestingly, the Immigration Rules are not immediately clear on this point.
Table 7 of Appendix A to the Immigration Rules states that the applicant will be awarded 75 points for attributes where he:
“(a) has money of his own under his control held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to not less than £2 million; …”.
This provision makes clear that the applicant’s money must be ‘his own’ money and ‘under his control’, apparently ruling out the possibility of relying on funds that are held in a business bank account where, by definition, they would be under the control of a separate corporate entity.
However, paragraph 64A-SD of Appendix A to the Immigration Rules, which sets out the evidence required to prove source of funds where the applicant has had the money referred to in Table 7 for less than a consecutive 90-day period of time, clearly envisages investment funds being held in a business bank account.
Paragraph 64A-SD(v) states:
(v) If the funds are currently held in the applicant’s business (or the business of the applicant and/or the applicant’s husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner), the applicant must provide business accounts, which:
(1) are profit and loss accounts (or income and expenditure accounts if the organisation is not trading for profit),
(2) are prepared and signed off in accordance with statutory requirements, and
(3) clearly show the amount of money available for investment;
Paragraph 64A-SD(vi) continues:
(vi) If business accounts in (v) are provided, they must be accompanied by an original letter from a legal adviser who is permitted to practise in the country where business was operating, confirming that the applicant (or applicant and/or husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner) can lawfully extract the money from the business, which clearly shows:
(1) the name of the legal adviser who is confirming the details,
(2) the registration or authority of the legal adviser to practise legally in the country in which the business is operating,
(3) the date on which the details are confirmed, and
(4) that the applicant (or applicant and/or husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner) can lawfully extract the money from the business in question;… CLICK TO READ MORE