Sajid Javid humiliated as Home Office u-turn to suspend UK visas for the super-rich after just FIVE daysDecember 11, 2018
Sources told The Sun that the Home Secretary had been ordered into a u-turn by the Cabinet – who only found out about the shock move when it was announced last Thursday.
At the time, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes announced that the ‘Golden Visa’ or ‘Tier 1’ route into Britain for tycoons hoping to live and invest in the UK was being frozen amid concerns about organised crime and money laundering.
She said: “I have been clear that we will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system.”
But yesterday, in a brief statement, the Home Office said: “The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is not currently suspended.”
A senior source told The Sun: “They forgot to do a write-around to the rest of the Cabinet as they thought they had clearance for this.
“When they did the write-around it got blocked.”
The ‘Golden visa’ provides a fast track route to settlement for people willing to invest millions in the UK.
Under the Home Office plans announced last week, it was going to be suspended until new rules were put in place next year. This would have starved the country of wealthy investors for months.
The latest gaffe follows an ongoing delay to the publication of the Immigration White Paper amid a Cabinet stand-off over post-Brexit controls.
And the Home Office is still battling the fallout of the Windrush scandal earlier this year where it emerged Commonwealth nationals living in the UK for years had been wrongly deported and deprived of medical care.
The new rules were likely to ask applicants to provide comprehensive audits of their financial and business interests – and proof they had control of £2 million of investment funds. It follows a Government review of the visa route as part of a crackdown on money laundering.
Some 400 applications for the ‘golden visas’ came in July alone – up nearly 50 per cent on a year ago. Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced a review of the rights of more than 700 Russians to live in the UK after the Salisbury poisonings.
In May, Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich withdrew his Tier 1 application after the deterioration in UK-Russian relations.
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