UK Changes Plans to Suspend its ‘Golden Visa’

UK Changes Plans to Suspend its ‘Golden Visa’

The UK government has backtracked on its plan to suspend its Tier 1 Investor visa. This visa is popular among many high net-worth Indians. The tier 1 investor visa which is also referred to as the ‘golden visa,’ was to be suspended effective from midnight of last Friday over fears of the scheme being abused.

The visa scheme had been providing a fast track for wealthy foreigners to obtain permanent residency in Britain. Therefore, the UK Home Office, to regulate and adequately assess the applicants of this visa, had decided to suspend it, pending when new rules are set for it by next year. According to the government, the new rules will introduce independent auditors who still ensure that all such wealthy applicants are thoroughly assessed on their financial and business concerns. They will also confirm that all applicants have control of funds in their name for not less than two years.

The visa and its processing will still be reviewed

However, in a definite change of plan, the UK government, on Wednesday, decided against suspending the visa as earlier planned; no explanations were given either. A spokesman of the UK Home Office announced that the UK Tier 1 Investor visa is not suspended at the moment, but that the government was still intent on reforming its process. The spokesman further added that more announcements would be made on the matter.

Transparency International, a non-profit body in the UK that fights corruption, had been in support of the news of the suspension of the golden visa and had condemned the plans to go back on the suspension.

The body expressed its concerns on what it termed the government’s “conflicting messages” on an important issue. It called on the government to take a stand and clarify its intentions as it concerns the Tier 1 investor visa scheme as well as give a schedule on how the review of past recipients of the visa will be run.

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