Anti-corruption activists and British lawmakers fear that golden visas have allowed children of Russian oligarchs to buy the right to live in the country with their parents’ money. The British Home Office revealed that it has granted residence permits to 46 Russian citizens aged 21 and under under the programme.
The minister’s office gave this information to Bloomberg on Wednesday.Following a request under the Freedom of Information Act (British law guaranteeing the public “rights of access” to information held by public authorities).
Conservative MP John Penrose considered that the Golden Visa “may have acted as a loop for felony children to live a life of gold in London, financed by dirty money”. The prime minister’s appointment argued that “if visas were granted to the best and brightest. Young entrepreneurs, Britain would benefit immensely from the jobs, energy and money they created.”
He argued, “The answer is for the government to publish a long-promised review of the golden visa, so that we can see exactly what happened and when. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as the saying goes.” is,” he argued.
The British Gold Visa was introduced in 2008 and was aimed at attracting wealthy foreign nationals to the UK. To obtain a residence permit, applicants must invest a minimum of two million pounds (2.4 million euros at current exchange rates).
The program has been used by approximately 12,000 people to facilitate entry into the UK, and is particularly popular with Chinese and Russian citizens. According to Reuters, golden visas have been issued to 2,581 Russians since 2008.
The plan was scrapped last February over fears that it was being exploited by Russian oligarchs. According to the anti-corruption program Spotlight on Corruption, nearly half (6,312) were reviewed because of a “potential risk to national security”.
“Due to loopholes in the Golden Visa regime, there was little or no verification of the source of funding, whether funds were offered to the person applying for the visa,” said Susan Hawley, executive director of Spotlight on Corruption.
“This means that the children of the oligarchs may have used their parents’ money, possibly obtained through corruption, to secure UK residency, citing once again how The regime facilitated the flow of dirty money into the UK.” , defended the worker.
In late March, a representative of the Interior Ministry had already disclosed in parliament that the United Kingdom had granted golden visas to eight Russian oligarchs on the list of persons approved to have relations with Putin. Their names were not disclosed.