The UK government is about to scrap a visa policy that allows rich foreign investors to have quick visa approvals.
The United Kingdom is set to scrap visas offering rich foreign investors fast-track residency in the country. This comes as pressure mounts on the UK government over its links with Russia and its oligarchs who have massive investments in the country.
According to a BBC report, a government source affirmed reports of an impending announcement next week on Tier 1 investor visas that offers residency to foreigners investing at least N1 billion.
Why golden visa was introduced Introduced in 2008, the scheme encourages foreigners with deep pockets from outside the European Union to invest in the UK. The scheme has been reviewed for some time after reports emerged that it has been abused.
The Russian connection
Growing pressure on UK ministers to cut relations with Russia over the risk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine could lead to this scheme primarily targeting Russian investors.
Over 100,000 troops from Russia is stationed at Ukraine’s border but it denies it wants to invade the country. The golden visa offers residency to those investing N1 billion and above and lets their families join them in the UK.
Benefits of the golden visa
The holders of the golden visa can also apply for permanent residency in the UK with fast-track depending on how much they invest.
An investment of N1 billion allows applicants to get their visa granted within five years and if they invest above N10 billion they can fast-track their permanent residency within two to three years.
The UK is home to rich Nigerians who have massive investments in the county including politicians and their families. Several Nigerian politicians have been reported to hide their loots in UK banks or to purchase properties with them to avoid arrest or detention by anti-graft agencies.
The BBC said a spokesperson stated it would report “in due course” on an ongoing review of visas granted before changes to the scheme in 2015.
United Kingdom leads, China 18th as foreign investors bring N714.8bn into Nigeria
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria attracted $1.73 billion from foreign investors, companies in the third quarter of last year (Q3’21).
This is a 97 percent improvement from the $875.62 million reported in the second quarter of 2021. NBS gave the numbers in its released Capital Importation Report for Q3’21 on Thursday, 7 January 2021.