×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

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

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. Heidi Fin / unsplash

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.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more