May 27, 2022

The Tier 1 investor visa route will be closed to all new applicants of all nationalities with “immediate effect”, the department added, adding that some of the issues have raised “security concerns, including illegal conduct of people.” It involves gaining wealth from and engaging in wider corruption. “

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I do not tolerate the misuse of our immigration system. Under my new immigration plan, I want to make sure that the British people have confidence in the system, including the corrupt elite. Stop those who are a threat to our national security and move dirty money to our cities.

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“Closing this route is the beginning of our new crackdown on fraud and illicit finances. We will publish a Fraud Action Plan, while the forthcoming Economic Crimes Bill will crack down on those who misuse our financial institutions.” And better protect taxpayers.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has shown ‘zero tolerance’ on the misuse of the UK visa system. (Frank Augustine / AP)

Eligible individuals for the visa, introduced in 2008, must have at least £ 2 million in investment funds in active and trading UK registered companies and have a UK bank account.

Successful applicants can work or study in the UK for up to five years and apply for residency in the country after further investment.

Visas are being reviewed over and over again due to concerns that the system could be exploited because applicants’ backgrounds are not adequately checked.

The announcement comes amid concerns about Moscow’s influence in Britain as tensions mount over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Former Labor Minister Chris Bryant has previously called for a complete overhaul of the scheme, accusing the government of “issuing golden visas to Russian oligarchs” and calling the system a “backdoor loophole”. Used as a way to get dirty money out. United Kingdom.

In 2018, a report published by the Foreign Affairs Committee, which included then-Home Secretary Priti Patel as a member, accused the ministers of “dirty money” flowing through Russia. They are endangering national security “with their eyes closed”. City of London

The inquiry raised concerns about the issuance of Golden Visas, which revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ally London had lost their “corrupt assets” base despite the outcry over the Salisbury Novochok Nerve agent attack. Continue to use as .

The anti-corruption group Global Witness had earlier accused Britain of taking back asylum seekers but laying a red carpet for oligarchs.

The change follows a review of all visas issued between 2008 and April 5, 2015, the results of which are yet to be published.

A total of 13,213 such visas have been issued since the third quarter of 2008, of which 564 were issued between January and September 2021, according to an analysis of data from the PA News Agency’s Home Office.

Since that period in 2008, 2,581 Russians have been released, with 55 in the same nine months in 2021.

In the same time frame, 4,247 were given to Chinese citizens, of which 141 were given last year.

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