UK Residency by Investment Programs for Non-EU Citizens

UK Residency by Investment Programs for Non-EU Citizens

Table of Contents

Are you a high-net-worth individual outside the European Union looking for a stable and prosperous environment to live, work, and invest? 

The United Kingdom offers a variety of residency programs that can pave the way for permanent residency and even citizenship. 

This article will explain the details of UK residency by investment programs for non-EU citizens, exploring the available options and their key requirements.

Why Choose UK Residency by Investment?

The UK boasts a vibrant economy, a multicultural society, and a world-class education system. 

UK Residency by investment unlocks a plethora of benefits, including:

Right to Live and Work: 

Freely reside in the UK and pursue employment opportunities in a thriving and dynamic job market.

Travel Freedom: 

Enjoy visa-free travel to many countries, including most of Europe, allowing greater ease and flexibility for international business and leisure travel.

Business Advantages: 

Establish and operate businesses within the UK, capitalising on its strong financial infrastructure, skilled workforce, and access to European markets.

Education Opportunities: 

Access high-quality education for yourself and your dependents, ensuring they receive a prestigious education recognised worldwide.

Path to Citizenship: 

After meeting specific residency requirements, you can apply for UK citizenship, granting you the full rights and privileges of a British citizen.

UK Residency by Investment Programs for Non-EU Citizens:

By understanding the nuances of the Tier 1 Investor Visa and Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, non-EU citizens can navigate the process of obtaining UK residency through investment with clarity and confidence. 

These pathways offer a chance to establish roots in the UK and contribute to the nation’s economy and entrepreneurial landscape.

Tier 1 Investor Visa:

Non-EU citizens seeking UK residency by investment often find the Tier 1 Investor Visa an enticing prospect due to its accessibility and straightforward requirements:

  • Minimum Investment: 

To qualify for the Tier 1 Investor Visa, individuals must commit a minimum investment of £2 million. This investment can be made in various avenues, including UK government bonds, share capital, or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies.

  • Source of Funds Verification: 

An essential aspect of the application process is demonstrating the legitimate source of funds. 

Non-EU citizens must provide comprehensive documentation to prove the origin of the investment capital.

  • UK Bank Account Requirement:

Applicants are required to open a UK bank account to facilitate financial transactions related to their investment activities and demonstrate their commitment to the UK.

  • Settlement Options: 

After residing in the UK for two years, individuals holding the Tier 1 Investor Visa become eligible to apply for settlement, also known as indefinite leave to remain (ILR). 

Furthermore, accelerated settlement options are available for those willing to make larger investments, such as £5 million within three years or £10 million within two years.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa:

For non-EU citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa presents an opportunity to establish or take over a business in the UK:

  • Investment Threshold: 

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa requires individuals to invest a minimum amount in a UK-based business. 

While the standard threshold is £50,000, certain applicants may qualify for a reduced investment requirement of £20,000.

  • English Language Proficiency: 

Proficiency in the English language is a prerequisite for applicants. 

Individuals must demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively to conduct business activities in the UK.

  • Financial Sufficiency: 

Apart from the investment amount, individuals must have sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependents during their stay in the UK. 

This requirement ensures that entrepreneurs can sustain themselves while building their business ventures.

  • Pathway to Settlement: 

Successful entrepreneurs holding the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa can apply for settlement after five years of continuous residence in the UK, provided they meet the residency and business requirements outlined by the immigration authorities.

UK Residency Programs for Non-EU Citizens:

The landscape of UK residency programs for non-EU citizens involves exploring various pathways tailored to different skills and aspirations.

Skilled Worker Visa (Formerly Tier 2 General Visa):

For non-EU citizens with specialised skills, the Skilled Worker Visa offers an opportunity to work and settle in the UK:

  • Job Offer Requirement: Individuals must secure a job offer from a UK employer holding a valid sponsor license. 

This ensures that the applicant’s skills are in demand in the UK job market.

  • Skill and Language Requirements: Applicants are required to meet specific skill, salary, and English language proficiency criteria to demonstrate their suitability for the role and integration into the UK workforce.
  • Pathway to Settlement: The Skilled Worker Visa provides a pathway to settlement after five years of continuous residence in the UK, offering long-term prospects for individuals and their families.

Global Talent Visa:

Recognising exceptional talent across various fields, the Global Talent Visa opens doors for non-EU citizens to contribute in UK residency by investment:

  • Merit-Based Assessment: Unlike other visas, the Global Talent Visa does not require a job offer. 

Instead, applicants are evaluated based on their achievements and potential contributions to fields such as science, engineering, humanities, digital technology, and arts and culture.

  • Fast-Track Settlement: Exceptional talent and promise can lead to fast-track settlement options, allowing individuals to secure permanent residency after just three years in the UK.

Innovator Visa:

For non-EU citizens with a flair for innovation and entrepreneurship, the Innovator Visa offers a platform to turn innovative ideas into successful businesses to help in UK residency by investment.

  • Endorsement Requirement: To qualify, applicants need an endorsement from an approved endorsing body, validating the novelty and viability of their business ideas.
  • Investment Threshold: While financial requirements exist, with a minimum investment of £50,000 (reduced for certain applicants), the focus lies more on the innovative potential of the business concept.
  • Settlement Opportunity: The Innovator Visa presents a pathway to settlement after three years, providing a clear trajectory for entrepreneurs to establish themselves in the UK residency programs for non-EU citizens.

UK Permanent Residency (PR) via Work Visa for non-EU citizens:

For non-EU citizens searching the process of establishing roots in the UK, securing permanent residency (PR) through work visas such as the Skilled Worker Visa requires adherence to specific residency and employment criteria over a defined period. 

Alternatively, the UK residency by investment pathway offers another avenue for non-EU citizens to attain residency status.

Take, for instance, holders of a Skilled Worker Visa, who become eligible to apply for settlement after continuously residing and working in the UK for five years, provided they meet the stipulated criteria. 

Permanent residency offers non-EU citizens the invaluable right to live and work in the UK indefinitely, granting access to public services and setting the stage for potential application for British citizenship. 

This pathway signifies not just a legal status but a sense of belonging and stability in the vibrant tapestry of the United Kingdom, fostering integration and contributing to the country’s diverse social fabric.


The United Kingdom presents several residency options tailored to the diverse needs of non-EU citizens, encompassing investment programs and skilled worker visas.

Whether you’re a high-net-worth investor, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a skilled professional, there’s undoubtedly a pathway designed to accommodate your unique circumstances and ambitions within the UK’s borders. 

However, navigating the intricacies of these programs can be daunting for non-EU citizens seeking UK residency by investment.

Here, organisations like Freshstart UK play a pivotal role in facilitating the journey of  UK residency by investment programs. 

Freshstart UK provides invaluable guidance and support, helping non-EU citizens understand the requirements and opportunities inherent in these programs. 

With their expertise, individuals can navigate the process with confidence and clarity, ultimately realising their aspirations of securing UK residency by investment and contributing to the nation’s dynamic tapestry.

The Fresh Group

We are part of an established and successful group of UK-based companies, who for the last 12 years have focused on innovation and investment in the United Kingdom.


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What are the benefits of UK residency by investment programs for non-EU citizens?

UK residency by investment offers numerous benefits, including the right to live and work in the UK, visa-free travel to many countries, access to high-quality education and healthcare, and a pathway to British citizenship.

What is the minimum investment required for the Tier 1 Investor Visa?

The Tier 1 Investor Visa requires a minimum investment of £2 million in UK government bonds, share capital, or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies

Can I apply for settlement with the Global Talent Visa?

Yes, exceptional talent and promise recognised through the Global Talent Visa can lead to fast-track settlement options, allowing individuals to secure permanent residency after just three years in the UK.

How long does it take to obtain permanent residency through UK residency by investment programs?

The timeline varies depending on the specific visa and individual circumstances. However, for most routes, individuals can apply for settlement after residing in the UK for a specified period, typically ranging from two to five years.

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