Britain axes golden visas for overseas investors

UK ministers have abolished a visa scheme that enabled affluent foreign investors to settle in Britain in return for bringing their wealth to the country, after a clampdown on illicit finance linked to Russia, according to Politico.

Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary, recently announced that she is scrapping the investor scheme known both as “Tier 1” and the “golden visa scheme” instantly, after pressure was put on the British government over money connected to the Kremlin.

The visa scheme is known as a route that empowered business professionals and investors from abroad to gain a residence status rapidly in exchange for bringing Britain over £2 million in investment.

Professionals and enterprises holding sizeable assets often seek out expert investment advice in Chester and London, as well as overseas.

Commenting on the end of the Tier 1 visa scheme, Patel stated that it was the beginning of fresh crackdown on illicit and fraudulent finance. The new initiative will also include the delayed Economic Crime Bill, which is designed to increase transparency of British real estate owned by foreign nationals. She added:

“I have zero tolerance for abuse of our immigration system.”

Since the Tier 1 scheme was launched in 2008, the UK has, to date, issued 2,581 fast-track visas to citizens of Russia. The UK Home Office has commented that it will be publishing a report soon on the scheme, which will include its findings following an investigation it conducted into the 700 millionaires from Russia who received visas between when Tier 1 began and 2015.

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