Britain to Scrap ‘Golden Visa’ Scheme Over Russian Ties – Reports

The United Kingdom plans to scrap its fast-track investment visa program next week over pressure to cut ties to Russia, British media reported Thursday.

Britain was due to suspend the visa scheme in 2018 but failed to do so, sparking criticism from anti-corruption campaigners. A 2020 parliamentary report on Russian influence in the United Kingdom warned that the visa program had allowed London to become a “laundromat” for offshore wealth.

Home Secretary Priti Patel plans to abolish the Tier 1 investor visa program next week because of “long-standing concerns” with criminal groups and super-rich foreigners abusing the scheme, The Times reported.

The move is linked to the threat of Russia invading Ukraine over its security standoff with the United States and NATO.

The Financial Times reported that the plans to scrap the top tier visa program would be carried out “within weeks.”

Tier 1 investor visas have encouraged wealthy non-European Union residents to invest at least 2 million pounds ($2.7 million) in the UK in exchange for permanent residency within five years. Investments of 5 million pounds ($6.7 million) shortened the permanent residency application to three years, and 10 million pounds ($13.5 million) to two years.

“We reformed the Tier 1 visa route in 2015 and in 2019 to crack down on dirty money and we have not ruled out making further changes,” the FT quoted the Home Office as saying.

At least 14,516 Russian citizens have been granted so-called “golden visas” since the program launched in 2008, according to the BBC. 

The Home Office promised to publish a review of “all” investor visas granted before the reforms by April.

(c) The Moscow Times

3 comments

  1. “The Home Office promised to publish a review of “all” investor visas granted before the reforms by April.”

    No need to review them, if they are Russian, just revoke them.

  2. “At least 14,516 Russian citizens have been granted so-called “golden visas” since the program launched in 2008, according to the BBC.”
    That’s almost 14,516 wealthy putinazi scum in Britain then, since only putlerites are allowed to be wealthy in Russia.
    Their cash and assets needs to be seized.
    Not on that list are “lord” Evgeny Lebedev and his scum father Alexander; ex KGB.
    Also not on that list: Abramovich; putler’s bag man.
    Also not on that list: “sir” Len Blavatnik, who identifies as Ukrainian-British. Except he is pure putlerite vermin. A fanatical supporter of Trump and close friend of putler sidekick Oleg Deripaska.
    Blavatnik is one of Britain’s richest men. Lock him up and take the fucking lot.
    Then you have Lavrov, who like all of putler’s cronies, is an evil billionaire criminal. His daughter, like putler’s daughters, is also a billionaire. She has UK citizenship. While her father and his friends terrorise and murder Ukrainians, she swans around in London’s finest fashion houses and most exclusive restaurants.
    I find that to be an obscenity that must be rectified immediately.

What is your opinion?