Relocation to the United Kingdom
THE BENEFITS OF RELOCATING TO THE UNITED KINGDOM
The UK is one of the most attractive places in the world both as a business location and as a place for private residence. The UK is known for having a stable democratic government and a respected system of law which has been adopted by countries across the globe. From a tax perspective, it can also be an attractive base for wealthy individuals and families taking advantage of the special tax treatment available to those who are not domiciled in the UK. The UK boasts some of the best educational institutions in the world, from pre-school to university. London is a leading global city and the world’s most influential financial centre. London has the highest GDP of any city in Europe and houses corporate headquarters of numerous multinational corporations, financial institutions and professional.
Each year, hundreds of wealthy individuals and families explore alternative residency and citizenship routes. The demand for alternative places to live is significant across the world, especially from Emerging Market countries. Merriwey has teamed up with experts in this field and are able to assist clients looking to move to the UK, including those wanting to explore other global destinations. We guide clients through the options and assist with all the legal paperwork and rule changes, to make your transition a smooth process from start to finish. For more information on the most popular immigration options click here
The UK offers one of the most advantageous tax regimes for individuals who wish to relocate here, but whose domicile (natural home) is overseas and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. The importance of professional advice and appropriate structuring of your affairs is paramount and pre-arrival planning could avoid unnecessary expenditure and tax implications. Merriwey has a wealth of experience in assisting in efficient and effective planning.
One of the main considerations when relocating to the UK is where you will live? Merriwey maintains long-standing relationships with some of the most successful property agencies in London, who advise clients on sought-after locations, areas with strong transport links, schooling and potentially strong investment returns. Whether you are looking to rent, buy or invest, Merriwey can assist with the process, helping you find the perfect home for you and your family.
The UK is renowned for its excellent education system and has some of the world’s most sought-after schools and universities. Meriwey can assist clients who are searching for the best schools and universities for their children’s education.
Clients coming to the UK often require assistance with running their business, family and life. Some examples are finding a reputable accountant, lawyer and arranging insurance for their property and possessions. Merriwey has built up a large network of preferred intermediaries in most areas. As part of our overall client solution when relocating to the UK, we welcome a conversation with you anytime to discuss your requirements in more detail.
Immigrant Investor Programme
The United Kingdom (UK) has cultivated one of the most attractive business environments in the world.
There has been an increasing number of high net worth individuals making an investment in the UK via the tier 1 investor visa and Entrepreneur visa.
The application is designed for non-European Union nationals who wish to reside in the UK. The system is very transparent, being points-based, and comprises of three tiers.
- International business environment; London is the financial capital of the world and a global transport hub;
- A diverse and multicultural society represented by large cultural and ethnic communities;
- Attractive tax regime for high net worth individuals who are resident but not domiciled;
- World-renowned schools and universities; more than 150 universities and higher education institutions;
- Very fast and transparent immigration application processing;
- No business or management experience required; and
- Travel mobility and the security of a UK passport.
Requirements – Tier 1 Investor
- The Tier 1 Investor visa requires an individual to make a substantial financial investment in the UK, and he must have held no less than GBP 2 million under his control for three months in advance of the initial application.
- Within three months of entry to the UK, the applicant is required to make an investment of at least GBP 2 million which must be maintained throughout the period until permanent residence is achieved. The investor must invest in the UK by way of UK share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies (other than those principally involved in property investment) Investment in government bonds and offshore companies is not permitted. The investment must be maintained for five years.
- There are no additional qualifying requirements for the initial application, and the applicant is not required to show business experience or the ability to speak English.
- The initial visa is valid for three years. The investor and his/her family are permitted to work and/or study in the UK. At the expiry of the initial visa, the applicant and his or her dependents must apply for an extension of stay. The UK government will grant a two year extension if the applicant has maintained the required investment throughout the term.
- The application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence. Approval can take between one and six weeks. Upon expiry of the initial three year period, the main applicant must apply for an ‘extension of stay’ from within the UK. The authorities will issue the applicant with a two year extension if all relevant criteria have been met. On completion of five years of continuous lawful residence, the main applicant may apply for himself/herself and the respective family to be granted settlement, or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR).
- An investor who increases their qualifying investment in the UK to a total of GBP 5 million may apply for settlement after three years in the UK; and an investment of GBP 10 million qualifies for a fast-track settlement in two years. The main applicant would need to be able to demonstrate that he/she has legally spent a continuous period of five years in the UK (or two or three years if qualifying for fast track).
- Upon being granted settlement and spending a minimum of five years in the UK (in the last 12 months of that period, the applicant must have held ILR), it is possible to apply for British citizenship.
- The UK levies income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax; there is no wealth tax.
- Income Tax is chargeable at progressive rates, with a maximum rate of 45% upon taxable income above GBP 150,000 annually (since April 2013).
- Capital Gains Tax is charged at a maximum rate of 28%, but with an effective 10% rate upon the disposal of certain business assets, mainly related to unincorporated businesses and unquoted companies carry on a trade or profession. The 10% rate is available on gains of up to GBP 10 million per individual upon the disposal of interests in such business and companies where the ownership period prior to disposal was at least one year, moving to two years from April 2019.
- Inheritance Tax is charged upon death at a flat rate of 40% on the full value of the estate with an exemption of the first GBP 325,000 of the estate from this tax. There are significant exemptions from Inheritance Tax, most notably disposals that take place between spouses and civil partners.
Merriwey Limited Registered Office: Kemp House, 160 City Road, London, United Kingdom, EC1V 2NX. Registered in England & Wales ref: 11084343. Merriwey Limited does not provide financial, tax or legal advice but can arrange such via third parties.