By Uglobal Staff
The UK is currently reviewing thousands of Tier 1 investor visas it granted to foreign investors before the 2015 reforms were made in its golden visa program, media reports.
Some 6,312 Tier 1 investor visas that had been issued between June 2008 and April 2015, are now all under review, according to the UK Home Office.
This is the third time the Home Office will be taking steps to comprehensively reassess its Tier 1 visa route for investors. Previous reforms were carried out in 2015 and 2019 on the pretext of preventing money laundering and flow of criminals to the UK via the visa routes. The latest move comes in an attempt to stop corruption.
The previous reforms in the Tier 1 investor visa included extra due diligence on the banking side, including requiring banks to submit a written document to the Home Office, reaffirming that the banks had indeed made all the required checks before the client was even allowed to open an account.
Foreign investors were also required to show a more detailed evidence of their money trail, especially in cases where several intermediary companies were found to be operating in their monetary transactions. They were also required to hold at least 2 million pounds in wealth for a period of at least two years while government bonds were kept off limits to foreign investors.
In the past, the UK has also reviewed investor visas granted to nationals from specific countries. For example, in 2018, they announced that the visas of 700 Russian nationals, most of whom had utilized the Tier 1 visa scheme, was being placed under review following the assassination of a former Russian military officer and his daughter in Salisbury.
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