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Investors in the UK: Did ‘Golden Visas’ End?

Status: 02/17/2022 4:45 pm

Over the years, Britain has rewarded large amounts of foreign investment in the country with a residence permit – regardless of whether it has been embezzled. Now these “Golden Visas” are about to be revoked.

Christophe Proslal, ART Studio London

This is a small step, an announcement – above all. The British government wants to remove the so-called “Golden Visas”. So far, anyone who has invested 2 million in Great Britain can get a residence permit – the right to bring a family to stay in the country. This visa is temporary but can be changed to an unlimited topic.

Christoph Bros.
ART Studio London

The rule was introduced by the Labor government in 2008 to attract investment to the country. Between 2008 and 2015, 6,312 visas were issued to about 700 Russian citizens. In 2015 the rules were tightened. But there is uncertainty: who was brought into the country with what investments? An investigation is underway. The report is due soon.

The government responds to the allegations

Since 2015, investors have been required to provide evidence for a UK account and the public has been subjected to criminal record checks. In the coming week, the Home Ministry wants to introduce legislation to completely eliminate investor visas. The government is responding to allegations that it did not take adequate action to combat money laundering and improve transparency in investment in the UK.

Example: Investors invest money through foreign companies. “This is an important point. Many properties in the UK are owned by XY in Belize or the British Virgin Islands. Who benefits? No one knows,” said Tom Keating, director of Russia’s White Collar Crime Institute. Appropriate rules for changing this should not be put forward until the fall.

Like the reform of the business register. So far, anyone can enter a company under any imaginary name. Names not verified. “In a new legal proposal, it will be important to design the business record so that the data can be verified,” Keating said. So far, the law does not provide this.

America fears holes

Seizing Russian money in London is not so easy. There are city tours through the magnificent mansions of Russian citizens. But not to see a lot of money, the United States has clearly criticized this. The government in Washington fears the loopholes in London could be further blocked.

Transparency International estimates that Russians affiliated with the Kremlin or the UK have invested nearly 1.8 billion euros in money laundering. 28 percent of which is at the heart of power Real estate in Westminster County. More than 2,000 companies have been affected by corruption and money laundering – an investment of more than ப 96 billion.