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Is the Golden Visa a scandal, or a sign of the times?

Is the Golden visa a scandal or a necessity for a healthy and balanced Immigration system? This is the question for all Immigration lawyers, Members of parliament and UK residents. As a part of a multi tired immigration system it has been argued that having a golden visa is a necessity to ensure that persons of high net worth whom would in theory invest large sums of money in to the UK economy have a straightforward route for residency. It is argued that the financial commitment they are making to the UK should balance the visa process in their favour as to encourage as many legal applicants as possible, thereby multiplying the benefit to the UK economy. This is what will be analysed in this article.

Westkin Golden visa: Sign of the times – Tier 1 Investor Visa.

It has been argued that the Golden visa also known as the Tier 1 Investor visa is just a part of the times and a necessary and natural result of any immigration system, particularly for countries that outwardly promote themselves as regional hubs or desirable lifestyle destinations for anyone from Argentina to China, New York to Moscow. What are we seeking as a benefit from these persons? If we believe that the incentive of UK taxation and UK investment for their huge wealth and potential trickle down effect for the UK is what we are after, then what would be the best way to keep these high net worth Golden visa applicants interested? At this time we have the current solution known as the Tier 1 Investor or sometimes called the Golden Visa, a route that allows a migrant to obtain UK residency by investing £2 million pounds.

Westkin – Golden Visa: Scandal – Tier 1 Investor Visa

Critics of the Golden visa call it a scandal because of the lack of perceived lack of commitment by would be applicants to the wider UK society. Applicants to the Golden visa do not require to speak English or prove how they would maintain themselves whilst in the UK. These lack of additional requirements has been criticised as a way to enter the UK via a golden visa whilst undercover of being a high-net worth person whom would not need to integrate and show their ability to accommodate themselves, because as proponents of the system argue that they would most likely use Private health care, schooling and other services which would not put further strains on public services.

Westkin – Investment Visa: Scandal simple changes

Although both sides of the argument have valid points, it is a fact that wealth is becoming more concentrated to wealthier persons whom in tern have more than ever many golden visa options to choose from around the world. All with their pros and cons. As such a balance needs to be struck between encouraging the flow of wealthy applicants for investment visa or golden visas coming to the UK but ensuring that there is real world benefit to the average UK citizen. As such there are some easy steps that the Home Office can make to improve the Investment visa scandal and rework its image. Firstly it could be insisted that all applicants must make a donation to specific charities or funds set up to combat social issues such as housing, health, youth services and mental health. Secondly regional investment scheme can be introduced to incentives applicants to make investments in to specific locations in the UK that have had historic under investment, £2 million investment would go a longer way outside of London as compared to inside of London where most migrants for the Golden visa tend to reside.

Westkin – Passport for sale: Scam or opportunity

The final suggested improvement to ensure the UK is not scammed or used for its visa system as just a route to obtaining a British passport, there is a real opportunity for the inclusion of a much higher level of requirements for when Golden visa holders apply for Indefinite leave to remain, also known as ILR. At this point to help weed out any Golden visa holders that are not committed to UK, would be introduce requirements for actual evidence of economic or social benefit to the applicants local community, this could be things like donations to local schools, youth services or even the Arts or the establishment of business that have created a net benefit to its local area. This way we ensure that although obtaining the visa is not off putting, obtaining a British passport is only reserved for those whom will be beneficial for the UK.

Westkin Associates


5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
United Kingdom
0207 118 4546

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