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Current Affairs

Golden Visas

Date: 02 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Several Russian oligarchs under the sanctions of UKwere granted ‘Golden Visas’ to live in the country.

 

Background

The list includes rich individuals such as Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov, Igor Sechin, Oleg Deripaska and Andrey Guryev Jr.

 

Details

  • The Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, also known as Golden Visa of United Kingdom, was launched in 2008 to get high net-worth individuals to make substantial investments in the country.

  • The visa programme was seen as a fast-track method for wealthy individuals to migrate to United Kingdom.

  • The government of UK stopped new application for Golden Visa after Russia started plans to invade Ukraine.

 

Conditions

  • Applicant should be at least 18 years of age, and have complete control or ownership over the assets and investments that they are claiming. 

  • Criminal record certificate of the last 10 years while aged 18 or above has to be provided by the applicant from a country they have been residing for one year or more.

  • Individual has to invest £750,000 in order to be eligible for the Golden Visa programme. The entry clearance is granted for only two years.

  • Applicant cannot practice as a doctor or dentist unless they have a degree or medical license from a UK institution.

  • They also cannot seek employment as a professional sportsperson or a sports coach.

  • Applicant should have a £2-million investment fund in a bank account in the UK. They should have a fair idea about life in the UK and English language.

 

Beneficiaries of Golden Visa

  • Russians and Chinese nationals make up the biggest group of applicants. Half of the applicants are threat to national security.

  • The programme was tightened after the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence agent Sergei Skripal.

 

Reforms

  • The old system was scraped and a new one introduced which will be new points-based immigration system.

  • The system will select individuals who can show genuine job creation and other tangible economic impacts. Passive investments will not be enough to secure visa.

  • The EU has asked member countries to end golden visa programmes or select investors but suspend visas for Russians and Belarusians.