Welcome to Westkin associates dispatches, our blog.
Much of the recent debate around allowing wealthy people to come to the United Kingdom has centred not just on immigration. Tax, the cost of central London Real estate and financial transparency have all played a part.
Immigration however seems to be the crucial aspect of this, with visas that specialise in attracting high net worth individuals to The United Kingdom for residency and permanent settlement coming under specific scrutiny.
Westkin dispatches – What are the options for the super rich to come to United Kingdom?
The most obvious answer here is the tier 1 investor Visa. This Visa is designed to attract high net worth individuals to come to the United Kingdom without the need for a job offer or without the need to commence a business. This Visa program requires the individual to invest £2 million into the United Kingdom economy.
The Visa allows high net worth individuals to initially declare that they have £2 million available and then to obtain the Visa.
Within 90 days of arriving in the United Kingdom they must then invest the £2 million into private equity, business or specific specified investments.
A previous version of the tier 1 investor Visa only required an investment of £1 million into theUnited kingdom of which only 75% needed to be specifically invested, the balance could be placed in cash or in real estate.
Westkin associates dispatches, what were The downside to the Visa program?
From the applicants perspective, the largest issue with the tier 1 investor Visa program was that it did not immediately lead to citizenship, rather it led to residency in United Kingdom. This residency became permanent usually after five years of holding the tier 1 investor Visa status.
The rules however did require that The investor must reside in the United Kingdom for at least 186 days per year, essentially six months. This is an undercover reported fact.
Many others citizenship programs, such as the Cyprus investment scheme or many Caribbean citizenship programs do not require an individual to spend a specific amount of time in the country before they obtain a passport.
The UK program, whilst attractive simply because of the United Kingdom is history and prestige, did exclude a number of individuals who would be willing to invest but not reside in the United Kingdom.
Westkin dispatches – What did the Uk government Achieve with this program?
There has been much media, both newspaper and print as well as documentary pieces and shorter documentaries which explore this issue.
The argument splits opinion. On the one side there are those who believe that attracting wealthy individuals to the UK will lead to financial benefit trickling down as a result of this individuals higher spending on property, education and other luxury goods.
On the other side, there are manyWho believe that the UK game is very little benefit from a temporary investment on the part of the applicant leading to permanent benefits such as a passport. They simply believe that the United Kingdom is getting the short end of the deal.
Westkin dispatches – Who is correct?
This question remains open, it is right to note that this issue is unusual for immigration. It is often those on the left that seek to protect migrants rights and those on the right to question what benefit individuals coming to the UK specifically provide. Here the situation is reversed as often these wealthy individuals who are self made,Are seen as attractive new arrivals.
Westkin dispatches – the debate continues.