Moving from India to the UK: the UK Golden Visa

With a shared history that began with the British colonization of India in the 17th century, the United Kingdom is an excellent choice to live and invest through the UK Citizenship by Investment or the UK Golden Visa.  According to the Global Wealth Migration Review, five thousand Indian millionaires or two percent of the high-net worth individuals left the country in 2020 and interest continues to grow.  This led to an outflow of wealth that ranked third highest in the world.

In an article published by the Times of India in February 13, 2021, India’s rich rank number one in looking to leave country, sixty three percent up from 2019.  The citizenship by investment programs are the most popular programs that India’s rich are looking at and exploring, even as India does not permit dual citizenship.

Wealthy Indians are looking for a haven where they feel personally safe, where their family assets are not only protected but can be spread across several jurisdictions; a place where there more options and new opportunities for themselves and their immediate family members. Wealthy Indians are also looking at the increased mobility an UK visa can provide and the added option to settle anywhere in EU.

UK Golden Visa

The UK Golden Visa is an excellent option especially for entrepreneurs and start-ups rather than for those looking to invest in real estate.

The UK Tier 1 investment visa requires that the applicant live at least six continuous years in the UK or must have lived seventy five percent of the time over five years in the UK or no longer than four hundred fifty days outside the UK over five years. Temporary residency in the UK is granted an investor and their immediate family for 3 years and can be extended for another 2 years.   After 6 years, the investor can apply for citizenship.

The UK Tier 1 investment visa requires a £2 million investment to build innovative businesses that meet new or existing market needs, has the potential to create jobs, and has the growth to enter the national and international markets.

Ninety-nine percent of commercial organizations in the UK are small and medium-sized businesses.  While the last five years have seen a surge in start-up activity. Thousands of people are encouraged to act on their ideas and set-up their own company.

Reasons why the UK is a great place to start a business:

  • It doesn’t cost much to register a new business and the process is streamlined and quick.
  • The government is pro-business. They support entrepreneurs and encourage people to set-up their own companies.
  • Corporate taxes have been slashed.
  • The government has a number of schemes that foster business growth like Start-up Loans, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, the UK Innovation Investment Fund and the Aspire Fund.
  • The government also provides advice and support to entrepreneurs from organizations like the Growth Accelerator and Mentorsme.
  • Inflation and interest rates are low which allow businesses to keep their costs low and their capital stretching a little further.
  • Loans for small and medium enterprises are readily available while start-ups have a range of financing options. The UK still has a very active venture capital community.
  • Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
    • The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme or SEIS was established by the UK government in 2012 to encourage taxpayers to buy shares in new start-up companies registered in the UK and receive a discount on their tax payments of up to fifty percent depending on the amount they invest. A win-win situation for both parties.
  • A majority of the start-ups in the UK are technology based and the UK has the technology in place to support these businesses.
  • Consumers are flocking to small businesses as they look for bespoke items and personalized services.

Top ten UK start-ups in 2020

  1. Financial Services
  2. Information Technology
  3. E-commerce
  4. Healthcare
  5. Telecommunications
  6. Artificial Intelligence
  7. Privacy and Security
  8. Travel and Tourism
  9. Energy
  10. Media and Entertainment