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What are the chances for an individual who committed a white-collar (Financial Fraud) crime and was offered settlement to get an investor visa (Tier 1) for the UK?

The settlement is almost fully (90%) paid now. If it is not done, then the original sentence was for a 6 months in prison.

  • Hi, I've committed Financial Fraud in 3 counts and offered settlement through court hearing and nearly 90% of the settlement plan which is ordered by the courts is completed. However court didn't sentenced me to a prison time and only ordered if I failed to make the settlements on time I will have to face 6 months prison time. – user17279 May 15 at 10:15
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    @user17279 I think you should consult an immigration lawyer. If you have enough money for a Tier 1 investor visa, you can afford an immigration lawyer. You will be able to tell them, in confidence, the precise details of your case. – Martin Bonner May 15 at 10:30
  • Otherwise, be careful. It sounds to me that you (in UK legal terms) have actually been sentenced to six months prison, suspended unless you fail to complete the settlement plan. If I am right, that counts as "a prison sentence" for most purposes in the UK. That's why you need a lawyer. – Martin Bonner May 15 at 10:32
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Based on Immigration Rules Part 9:

Grounds on which entry clearance or leave to enter the United Kingdom is to be refused

  • the fact that the person seeking entry to the United Kingdom:
    • (...)
    • has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of less than 12 months, unless a period of 5 years has passed since the end of the sentence.

so if you have been sentenced to 6 months (this usually includes suspended sentences), unless it was more than 5 years ago you will be refused entry by default.

Note that for Tier 1 Visas you have to provide an overseas criminal record certificate from all countries you have been living in the past 10 years that will probably specify the exact details of your sentence.

Note that these are the generic conditions, so if you would still like to visit the UK on a Tier 1 Visa your best bet is to contact an immigration lawyer who should be able to advise you on your actual chances. Since your conviction is suspended they might still be able to help you in the process of applying, and probably tell the actual chances that your application will be granted.

Note that even if the immigration lawyer tells you that your sentence doesn't apply, and is non-custodial you still generally have to wait at least 12 months after the end of the original period for you to be eligible to apply:

Paragraph 320(18A) of the Rules states that an application should normally be refused if within the 12 months prior to the date on which the application is decided, the person has been convicted of or admitted an offence for which they receive a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record.

  • this usually includes suspended sentences I don't think this is true. The UKVI guidance says "A suspended prison sentence must be treated as a non-custodial sentence." – MJeffryes May 17 at 8:33
  • Downvoted as the guidance cited by @MJeffryes indicates the Answer is incorrect. – David Oct 13 at 1:58
  • Not sure how that comment invalidates the post – SztupY Oct 13 at 18:38
  • @SztupY The Answer says that "sentence" includes "suspended sentence," and therefore disqualifies the applicant from entry to the UK for a period of 5 years. The citation in the Comment, however, demonstrates that "sentence" specifically excludes a "suspended sentence." Thus, the OP will not be denied entry on this ground. – David Oct 14 at 3:20

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