In 1994, the UK started offering foreign investors the opportunity for a route to immigration which has evolved over the years to become Investor or Innovator visa programs. Both routes can lead to permanent residency and then eventually citizenship by naturalization with a British passport.
Initially the Investor visa seems to be more appealing since Investors can work, study and live in the UK, whereas applicants under the Innovator option can only work in the company in which they invested. Investors also don’t need to meet the required English language standard, can settle after 2 years and retain control over their invested funds. However, the required investment is significantly higher than that of an Innovator applicant.
To apply for a British passport, the main applicant must be over the age over 18, any dependents can be included such as spouse and minor children. The applicant and any dependents must be in good health and have no contagious diseases as well as having a clean criminal and immigration record.
You can apply for settlement 5 years after your initial application and apply for a British passport after 6 years. The requirements include complying with the English language criteria and passing a Life in the UK test. You must have spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 years prior to your application, and no more than 90 days in the previous 12 months. This is definitely a very attractive residency program for those seeking to live in Europe but do not wish to invest into Real Estate.