12 Jul 2021
Thousands of “golden visas” given to oligarchs and wealthy foreigners are under review over potential risks to national security.
All 6,312 of the Tier 1 investor residencies granted between June 2008 and April 2015 are being checked, amounting to nearly half of those issued. There are suspicions about the calibre of some of the residents welcomed in during that period, when there was a lack of rigorous checking on the source of applicants’ wealth.
“Golden visas” were introduced by Labour in in 2008 response to the financial crisis, granting British residency in exchange for seven-figure investments. The initiative fuelled a property boom for wealthy Russians in Britain.
In 2018 Theresa May, as prime minister, announced a review of golden visas. The Home Office has now confirmed, under freedom of information laws, that it has been assessing the risk “of a range of national security threats including illicit finance, corruption and wider serious and organised crime risks”.
By Dominic Kennedy, The Times, 12 July 2021
Read more at The Times
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