- The UK government is about to scrap a visa policy that allows rich foreign investors have quick visa approvals
- The scheme called golden visa was introduced in 2008 in the UK for investors outside UK who invest N1 billion and above to fast-track their visa applications
- Nigerian millionaires, including politicians who see the UK a safe haven to hide their wealth will also be affected
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.
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The scheme has been reviewed for some time after reports emerged that it has been abused.
The Russian connection
As pressure mounts on UK ministers to cut relationships with Russia over the threat of imminent invasion of Ukraine, the scheme may be largely targeted at investors from Russia.
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.
Perks of 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.
It has been reported that many Nigerian politicians hide their loots in UK banks or buy properties with them in order to evade 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 lead, China 18th as foreign investors bring N714.8bn into Nigeria
Legit.ng has reported that the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed 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.