UK Golden Visa gives expatriates poor returns for rich investments

Published:  10 Jul at 6 PM
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At first sight, London isn’t exactly the pinnacle of expatriate destinations, but for the mega-wealthy the UK’s Tier 1 investor visa is attempting to become the Golden Visa to beat them all.

London’s disadvantages are many, starting with the weather, continuing with the extremely high cost of living, the disproportionate cost of property, the expensive, crammed transportation system and the endless traffic snarl-ups and ending with the failing public health system and the high levels of violent crime. In spite of all this and more, the seriously rich with fortunes in excess of 22.5 million sterling are rushing to purchase luxury pads. Right now, some 4,400 members of the planet’s super-rich club are enjoying everything the city has to offer.

Strangely enough, with Brexit and its threatened disruption of the UK’s economy creeping ever closer, London is now seeing increasing foreign property investment well in excess of that seen in other European capitals. Some commentators believe the mega-rich are seeing some post-Brexit advantages as yet hidden to Britons in general. The rules for the UK’s Golden Visa are strict, starting with a minimum of a two-million pound investment in either government bonds or share or loan capital in UK-registered companies not involved in property investments. Whilst the cash can be held anywhere on the planet at the time of application, extensive proof must be provided of its very existence as well as its origins.

Reams of paperwork and documentation containing everything from proof of finances to how the applicant managed to become a multi-millionaire are required and, believe it or not, applications can actually be made online, which somehow sounds like a hacker’s dream. With all these complications, hi-so applicants don’t even get permanent settlement unless they throw in another 10 million after two years of holding the Golden Visa. After all that, Golden Visa holders are only allowed to stay for three years and four months, with a two-year extension only possible under certain circumstances. Comparing the product with other Golden Visas available across the world, it’s difficult to understand how anyone smart enough to become a multi-millionaire would take it on.
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