Theresa May crackdown on UK Golden Visas not working

Published:  16 Jul at 6 PM
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Applications for the UK’s extremely expensive Golden Visa have increased by 46 per cent since the UK government’s crackdown.

In spite of a UK government crackdown aimed at rooting out corrupt, illicit money-laundered cash flowing to the UK via the Golden Visa scheme, applications from the global super-rich are still pouring in. Some 400 ultra-wealthy expat investors have taken up the offer of a Tier 1 visa since the year to 31 March, an increase of 46 per cent over figures for the previous tax year. Requirements for staying in the UK include an investment of £2 million or more in the UK economy, with applicants now required to show proof of the source of their wealth.

Since 2015, the government has been taking note of the numbers of Russian oligarchs applying for the Golden Visa. One such was Roman Abramovich, Chelsea FC owner and friend of Vladimir Putin, whose application was delayed due to an ongoing review of previous applicants in an effort to discover suspect funds. Although there was no formal suggestion the Russian had been involved in dodgy dealings, the delay forced him to miss his team‘s FA cup victory, after which he put on hold plans to redevelop the team’s Stamford Bridge stadium. He’s now withdrawn his Golden Visa application and has taken on Israeli citizenship.

According to research, 405 people applied in the year to 31 March, as against 278 in the previous year, with the number of Russians increasing by 46 per cent to 52 individuals. Chinese interest in the visas soared by 26 per cent to 123, but the largest increase in interest came from Turkish citizens, accounting for an 85 per cent increase in number to 24. The British government has now made it more difficult for Turks to be accepted as permanent residents in the UK. Recently, there has been an increase in media reports alleging the UK is selling off British citizenship to wealthy undesirables.
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