Investor visa (Tier 1)

Switch to this visa

You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Investor) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Who can apply

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Post-study work)
  • any Tier 2 category

You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you’re in another category.

How long you can stay

You can stay a maximum of 3 years after switching to a Tier 1 (Investor) visa. You can also extend your visa if you’re eligible.


For each person, you’ll need to pay:

If you want to get a decision more quickly than the standard 8 weeks, you can pay an extra £477 for the priority service. You’ll get a decision within 10 working days.

How to switch

Read the full guidance on the Tier 1 (Investor) visa before you apply.

You must apply online.

Biometric information

Each person applying must also have their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll be told how to do this after you’ve applied.

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to switch your visa is successful.

How long it takes

A decision will usually be made:

  • within 8 weeks of your application if use the standard service
  • within 10 working days of your application if you use the priority service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, for example if you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.