Article by: Oles Kovach
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Great Britain published information that citizens of Russia and China have already invested about a billion pounds sterling in the special investment visa program. According to British law, until recently, someone who invests 1 million pounds sterling in the economy of the United Kingdom was considered a first-category investor, thus having the opportunity to gain a so-called ‘Tier 1’ visa. This visa, accordingly, gives permission for residence, which may be re-registered as permanent British residence.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, known in the UK as the Home Office, political uncertainty in Russia has spurred the recent dramatic increase i the number of the country’s citizens who are trying to gain the ‘Tier 1’ visa for the United Kingdom, practically pay the price for the privilege of living in Britain.
Only within the past 12 months, 180 such visas were issued, which is over two times more than last year.
Kingsey Napley partner Nick Rodham notes: “There was always a large number of rich Russians who were willing to move to Britain; however, the problems in Ukraine and some of the policies of President Putin are compelling more and more rich Russians ask for a first-category visa in Britain.”
Demand brings about supply. Starting November 6, the minimal sum of investments necessary to receive a British ‘Tier 1’ visa has been increased twofold and now amounts to 2 million pounds sterling. Moreover, the British government now has greater powers to verify the financial sources of the potential applicants.
However, as observers note, even this 100% price increase is unlikely to decrease the number of Russians who would want to flee Putin’s Russia, live and work freely in Britain, and have the opportunity to send their children to leading private educational institutions in the United Kingdom.