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Senior Partner
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 13325
Experience:  Solicitor
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I need to know some SPECIFIC information in regards to the

Customer Question

I need to know some SPECIFIC information in regards XXXXX XXXXX Investment under a UK ENTREPRENEUR VISA. I understand under this visa one is not allowed to invest in any "residential properties" however it is not very clear if they mean residential property for personal use or something else. I have the following options I am considering for Investment under this visa - and I need to know if any or all of them are allowed as valid "investments" for the purpose of fulfilling criteria for this kind of visa. Here are my options and all of them will fulfil the min. £200k investment criteria + creation of 2 full time jobs and they will all be invested under a Limited Liability Company formation -

1) Form a company under which I buy properties and rent them out on short term basis to tourists, business visitors etc.

2) Buy a building and convert it into an HMO (housing multiple occupants) or a student housing complex and manage it personally. I would get a proper HMO license to do this and HMO is considered a business license.

3) Buy old houses, convert them into different flats and then sell out the individual flats for a profit.

Any other way I can invest in property under this visa???

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
The only way you are going to get a clear ruling is to speak to the Border Agency.the exact wording used as you probably know is
"The investment must not include the value of any residential accommodation, property development or property management." I can find no guidance from the Border Agency on the meaning of these words nor any case law and the only interpretations I have seen suggest invest in residential property is not permissible period. The only relevant investment is construction i/.e a building company. All your suggestions would in my view fall within residential property or property development or management.

I am afraid if you are determined to invest in residential property then your best hope might be the student accommodation which might classify as commercial but I would clear it first with the Border Agency
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What if I buy a commercial property - which is zoned as "commercial use" and then convert it into student housing - would that be considered a proper investment??

I know that care homes and hotels are considered OK as valid investments - however they are either too expensive or too risky and I don't wish to do that.

I think they need to reform this visa and clarify many things as it is very unclear - also there is absolutely NO way to contact the border agency and get these answers. I have contacted them many times and they replied saying - refer to the guidance... and we all know how bad the guidance is. They also don't allow more than 1 month a year out of the country on this visa - if u need to qualify and get the ILR - which again doesn't make any sense as why would any investor bring his money into the UK and be tied down like a slave to the country??Almost all other countries who have investor / business visas like only like the investor to spend 6 months a year in the country and free to travel the rest.
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
I would not take the risk on student housing which I would regard as residential if you cannot get the Border Agency to agree. If they are refusing to comment that is extremely unhelpful.

As regards XXXXX XXXXX comments, in fact the UK is one of the few countries which allows aliens to freely invest without restriction. If you were simply investing in the uK you cold do so and come as a visitor for up to 6 months at a time as often as you wished.

the rules about leave to remain exist because that type of leave allows people to seek settlement here and subsequently a Uk passport . Something for which for whatever reason there is overwhelming and insatiable demand. The rules are therefore framed only to give these rights to people who are actually resident here. the guidelines allow both vacations and business trips abroad but require that applicants for indefinite leave to remain are otherwise full time resident here.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Well I am not able to get any information from UKBA in regards XXXXX XXXXX investment. The student housing will not be considered residential because it is a "commercially" zoned property I will be buying and converting into a student hostel.

Anyway at this point - no matter how much money I invest it seems like if I stay 2 months a year also out of the UK - then I won't be able to get a passport and I have a need to travel a lot. Their rules are ridiculous - and dont think they want investors but rather slaves to work like dogs and give up our personal lives. As for investing without residency in the UK - I would never do it because even on my entrepreneur visa they trouble / harass me each time I travel in and out of the UK - and they rejected 5 visas for me in the past - it has become hell to live and do anything in UK due to the visa hassles. I've faced so much harassment at UK borders that I am not even sure I want to invest any longer that's why I was looking into the safest possible investment option - which can be managed even if they refuse me entry into the country. As a visitor needing a visa - it has become horribly difficult for Indians and I know so many wealthy Indians also who were refused visitor visas under UKBA policies and given stupid ridiculous reasons. I wonder if they will ever fix their visa systems and stop bothering rich people with money. Sorry your answers did not help me at all so far.
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
Well you asked for my view and I have given it. If you take the risk of investing in student accommodation it may not be acceptable. If it is a hostel like a hotel without permanent residents you might be ok but it is a risk. The spirit of the rules suggests it should be regarded as a business venture but the fact that the UKBA has not clarified it in its guidance ( at the moment) is far from helpful.

You did not say that you were an Indian national and whilst I prefer not to comment generally on the operation of the immigration rules I am afraid your treatment does not surprise me. It is not a new issue .
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes Indians are the 2nd largest investor in UK and still treated like shit...but its only a matter of time when the UK economy suffers further due to lack of Indian investment then they will bend their rules and learn how to behave with us... I don't face this crap anywhere else in Europe or even in the US. A lot of wealthy Indians are now boycotting the UK due to harassment we face at your borders - it has become disgusting to the core.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can you please just answer one question now -

I have identified a property which is a commercial shop front property with 2 flat on top of it. The Shop itself is a freehold property and listed for a price of £260,000 - it is currently being used as a hair salon and the business is part of the sale price. Now the 2 flats on top of this shop can also be bought as a total package for £550,000 - which is a good price for a shop + 2 flats in a decent area of west london. If I can prove I invested the 200k in the shop - I can do this by showing 2 seperate sale deeds one for the shop and another for the 2 flats but still buy the entire property at this price - anyway my investment of 200k will be in the shop along with the hair salon business - it is already being managed by employees so I have very little to do. Now will buying this existing shop with a hair salon running fulfill the criteria?? What about the existing employees - if they carry on working for the next 3 years before my extension - would they be considered for the 2 full time jobs created or do I have to hire extra new employees??

Lastly - once I invest this money and have proof of the business as above - will I be still hassled a lot by UKBA and treated badly?? Will they shut up when they see proof I have a business and its running?? What if I travel 3-4 months a year outside the UK - will I have problems getting back into the country?? I would invest even a million bucks in the UK but only if they showed some respect towards me - its very annoying they treat investors just as bad as asylum seekers. I will speak to my local MP as well and explain how frustrating it has been for me to invest and live in the UK peacefully - if I can carry some sort of letter from my MP to produce at UK borders would that also help me?? Sorry they really have been treating me badly - and they treat all visa holders especially from India the same way - there are so many complaints on the internet.


Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
I have answered your existing query at some length. As, I note, has my french colleague but you have not accepted any of the answers so I have opted out. I wish you luck with your applications
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have paid your french colleague - please see that I paid them a while ago. I am only trying france because of the frustratrions I had with the UK visas...and believe me I have been through hell with UK immigration.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Also you have not given me even one satisfactory answer - I asked specific questions and you just said yes, no, maybe to it - read your responses above. You as an immigration lawyer don't even know the answers to questions I am asking and you expect a payment?? Then you refer me to go ask the UKBA directly - if I wanted to do that why would I place a deposit and ask a question here?? Sorry I an not satisfied with your service either and I will be reporting my disappointment to justanswers. Let them investigate how satisfactory your answers have been. Also you have admitted to UKBA being racist to Indians which is the only useful (discouraging) thing you have said so far.

Thank YOU!!!

And once again - I did pay the french guy....check your fact carefully.
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
Your correspondence is gratuitously offensive and you have misquoted me . I did not say UKBA was racist and I do not believe that to be the case.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
what does this mean then??

you did not say that you were an Indian national and whilst I prefer not to comment generally on the operation of the immigration rules I am afraid your treatment does not surprise me. It is not a new issue .