Tier 1 investor visas which require a person to invest at least £2million in the UK is currently suspended until the Home Office put new rules into place.
This visa category enables people to remain in the UK and apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after five years with a £2million investment. This reducing to two years if an investment of £10 million is made.
Concerns have been raised that the visa route known as “golden visas” is open to organised crime and money laundering.
Immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: “The UK will always be open to legitimate and genuine investors who are committed to helping our economy and businesses grow. However, I have been clear that we will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system.”
Once the new rules are in place in 2019, independent, regulated auditors will be checking applicants have had control of their funds and will be assessing applicant’s financial and business interests.