United Kingdom 'golden visa' scheme to be suspended due to corruption fears

06 Décembre, 2018, 17:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

The Tier 1 Investor visa program will be suspended from midnight on Friday ahead of reforms created to tackle money laundering and organized crime, according to a Home Office statement.

Tier 1 investor visas were introduced in 2008 to encourage rich people from outside the European Union to invest in the UK.

The initial investments thresholds were £1 million, £5 million or £10 million, which led to permanent residence in 5, 3 or 2 years respectively, and eventual citizenship.

But the Home Office said the scheme would be suspended from midnight on Friday amid ongoing efforts to tackle serious organised crime.

They will be reinstated once toughened measures have been put in place, ministers said.

The reformed visa will require applicants to provide comprehensive audits of their financial and business interests, and show they have had control of the £2m of investment funds required to obtain the tier 1 visa for at least two years.

Launched in 2008, over 1,000 Tier 1 (Investors visa) have been granted until September 2018, mostly to Russian and Chinese investors, but they also include 76 Indian millionaires (and their 100 dependents) until 2017.

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"That is why I am bringing forward these new measures which will make sure that only genuine investors, who intend to support United Kingdom businesses, can benefit from our immigration system".

'That is why I am bringing forward these new measures which will make sure only genuine investors, who intend to support United Kingdom businesses, can benefit from our immigration system'.

Under future plans which are expected to come into play by next year, investors will have to provide audits of their finances which will be regulated United Kingdom auditing firms.

However, three years later, the Migration Advisory Committee said the scheme brought little economic benefit for British citizens because most applicants were buying gilts to qualify - so were effectively loaning the government money, rather than investing in the UK.

It will also be possible for pooled investments, supported by the government, to back projects with a clear economic benefit to the United Kingdom, such as supporting small and medium enterprises.

A government crackdown on the number of "gold-plated" oligarchs allowed into the United Kingdom will come into effect tomorrow, it has been reported.

The Home Office is also replacing the Tier 1 Graduate and Entrepreneur visa routes with a Start-up visa route, announced in June, and the Innovator visa route.

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