Roman Abramovich’s UK visa has expired and British authorities have not yet issued him with a new one, according to Russian media reports and people who know the businessman.
The Russian oligarch and owner of Chelsea football club, who is the 13th richest person in Britain with a net worth of £9.3bn, according to the Sunday Times, held an entrepreneurial visa to the UK that expired several weeks ago. He has filed for a new visa, but has not yet been granted one, and it is not clear if or when he will be.
A person who knows Abramovich said he had not been denied a visa, but that it was taking longer than usual to renew and it was unclear why.
Various news reports Have confirmed that Roman Abramovich has been outside of the UK after the expiry of his Visa, with various commentators suggesting that this might be an indication of the toughest dance on Russian national’s holding visas for the UK.
A closer inspection of his Visa and how it works explains the predicament that Roman Abramovich is in.
He holds an Tier 1 investor Visa. This allows him to remain in the UK for a period of three years four months so long as he is invested £2 million into United Kingdom.
When you extend this Visa, you are supposed to be inside the United Kingdom. What this actually means is that if Mr Abramovich is outside of UK office Visa expires, he could no longer extend that visa.
The home secretary, Amber Rudd, said in March that the government would look retrospectively at Tier 1 visas, those given to applicants who want to open businesses in Britain and have at least £50,000 in investment funds, like the one Abramovich held. Nearly 700 Russians came to Britain between 2008 and 2015 on such visas.
News reporting on this issue has flagged up that if you was then to apply for a fresh Visa from Russia, he may be subject to enhanced and more stringent financial investigation, particularly around his source of wealth.
What these news reports have failed to content with is the fact that Mr Abramovich will not be able to make a new and fresh application for the tier 1 investor Visa for another year.
The investor Visa, if not extended, which Mr Abramovich has not done, is subject to a year long cooling off period before it can be applied for afresh.
Mr Abramovich may be able to apply for an alternative use her with no cooling off period, but this seems unlikely. The other commonly used visa under tier 1 is the entrepreneur Visa, but this requires a detailed working knowledge of English and proof of English qualification for Russian nationals Before it can be applied for. It is widely thought that Mr Abramovich has not improved his English to any great extent in the UK.
And it might be that Mr Abramovich, if you’re stuck outside the UK for a year, will not be able to see his beloveds Chelsea FC play in person in their 2018/19 Premier League campaign.
Westkin associates are experts in entrepreneur and investor visas, contact us for more information.
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