Golden visas suspended to stop laundering
BRITAIN will suspend its top-tier investor visas, which require £2 million (R35m) in investment, as part of a drive to crack down on organised crime and money laundering.
From Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern oil barons to newly-minted Chinese entrepreneurs, the wealthy have flocked to London over the past two decades, snapping up everything from opulent homes to soccer clubs.
The influx of super-rich has brought tens of billions of pounds in investment and helped London preserve its position as one of the world’s top two global financial capitals, though the government has been concerned by the provenance of some of the wealth.
“I have been clear that we will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system,” Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said. “That is why I am bringing forward these new measures which will make sure only genuine investors, who intend to support UK businesses, can benefit from our immigration system.”
The tier 1 investor visas, which offered non-EU residents over three years entry in return for £2m in investment in UK bonds, share capital or loan capital in UK companies, will be suspended from midnight tonight.
After the changes, applicants seeking to invest in the UK will have to provide comprehensive audits of all financial and business interests, the interior ministry said. The audits will have to be carried out by UK-registered auditing firms. | Reuters