The so-called ‘golden visa’ which allows high net-worth individuals fast-tracked access to UK residency is to be suspended until the new year.
The tier 1 visa, which provides a fast track route to settlement for people willing to invest millions in the UK, will be suspended from Friday until new rules are put in place in 2019.
The move comes amid corruption concerns regarding the golden visa.
In July, figures showed a 46 per cent increase in the number of applicants to the tier 1 investor visa scheme, with more than 400 applications from wealthy overseas investors.
“The UK will always be open to legitimate and genuine investors who are committed to helping our economy and businesses grow,” said Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes upon announcing the scheme’s suspension. “However, I have been clear that we will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system.
“That is why I am bringing forward new measures which will make sure that only genuine investors, who intend to support UK businesses, can benefit from our immigration system.”
When relaunched in 2019, the reformed visa will require applicants to provide comprehensive audits of their financial and business interests, and show they have had control of the £2m of investment funds required to obtain the tier 1 visa for at least two years.
Applicants will no longer be able to invest in government bonds as part of the reforms, and must invest in active and trading UK companies.
Article published 6th December 2018