As a foreign investor, do I need a visa to buy property in the UK?

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No, you do not require a visa to buy a property in the UK as a foreign investor.

Though you do not require a visa to buy a property in the UK, there are several considerations to make and factors to be aware of to make the most of your purchase. Here’s a little more info on buying property in the UK as a foreign investor.

Buying property in the UK as an overseas investor

The UK openly welcomes overseas investors to buy property and as one of the most reliable markets in a country deemed to be a ‘safe haven’ many based abroad choose to place their funds into UK real estate.

There are several taxes applicable when buying or selling property in the UK as an overseas investor so it is useful to heed the advice of an experienced advisor to make decisions that are savvy.

Though there are currently temporary reduced rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax available, from Spring 2021 there are plans to increase the surcharge payable by overseas buyers – planning ahead could save money.

What documents do I need to buy a house in UK?

By law, several of the parties involved with buying a property in the UK will need to check a buyer’s identity due to measures put in place by the government to prevent money laundering and fraud. Checks are made by solicitors and banks, along with property agents involved in transactions, at certain stages throughout the process.

Documentation required for buying a house in the UK includes: 

  • Proof of identity – your passport or driving license are ideal
  • Proof of address – a bank statement, utility bill or driving licence are required
  • Source of funds – Payslips, tax returns and proof of benefit are amongst the documents that can be used as proof of source of funds

At several stages, an investor will be required to produce documents to prove their identity so it’s sensible to have these ready.

Can a non UK citizen get a mortgage?

Yes, You can get a mortgage in the UK if you’re not a British citizen.

Lenders usually like to see that a borrower has good credit history in the UK before they’re happy to lend. It’s always a good idea to have a bank account set up in the UK if you’re planning on getting a mortgage. It’s also likely that a lender will require a higher deposit value.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the range of mortgage products available is likely to be more restrictive than for those who live in the UK, this said – leveraging is preferable for capital appreciation. A specialist and experienced mortgage broker can be particularly useful if you’re a foreign national looking to secure a buy-to-let mortgage.  

How do I get a UK investor visa?

There are reasons why you might like to invest to obtain a visa – there are minimum investment requirements to meet eligibility that are useful to be aware of.

To apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa the individual must have at least £2,000,000 in funds available to invest. They must be over 18 and prove that the funds belong to themselves or their partners such as a husband or wife and have opened an account with a regulated UK bank in order to use the funds.

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa allows for a stay of 3 years and 4 months, though there is the ability to extend this. When an individual comes to the UK on the Tier 1 visa their family members, that is anyone who is ‘dependent’ on the primary investor, can come with them on the same visa.

The process of securing a visa can take several months so it is important to plan in advance, though there is a fast track option to pay for a priority service. There are specialist companies who assist with the process of securing a UK visa which can prove useful.

Buy-to-let advisor for foreign nationals

If you’re considering buying an investment property in the UK and would like to talk to an expert advisor regarding your plans, our team of seasoned buy-to-let consultants would be delighted to discuss the best opportunities and strategies for success. We’re available on +44 (0) 203 950 7939 UK or +971 (0) 4 818 7277 in Dubai or you email us at info@thirlmeredeacon.com, and we shall reply as soon as possible.

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