Even as visa rules for ordinary people are being tightened with an annual cap for non-European Union nationals set to kick in soon, the “super-rich” would be able to literally buy their way into Britain under new plans to attract wealthy investors.
Media reports on Monday said the proposed rules would not only make it easier for the rich to enter Britain but, depending on how much money they bring in, they would be able to obtain British residency rights without going through too many hoops.
Industrialists, willing to invest millions of pounds in Britain, would be required to spend only six months —against nine months under current rules — to qualify for a visa and the waiting time for permanent residency would be “dramatically cut for the wealthiest entrants”, according to The Financial Times.
The newspaper said investors bringing in £10 million would qualify for permanent residency within two years and those with at least £5 million would qualify in three. The “poorest” of them — those investing £1 million — would have to wait for five years.
Currently, anyone on an investor visa must stay for at least five years to become eligible for permanent residency.
“Those applying for an entrepreneur visa would also see restrictions eased. It is expected businesses will be allowed to bring in an extra employee from overseas in return for an additional investment of £50,000,” the report said.
The so-called “high net worth individuals” are already exempt from the controversial annual cap which will see visas for skilled workers and students drop sharply as part of the Tory-led Government’s plans to reduce annual net migration from “hundreds of thousands” to “tens of thousands”.