Ten Russian oligarchs who used ‘golden visa’ route to UK are on sanctions list


The government’s ‘golden visa’ scheme, which was meant to lure super-rich investors, has been targeted by people with suspected criminal links as well as 10 Russian oligarchs to gain a foothold in the UK, a review has disclosed.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, said ‘a minority’ of more than 6,000 individuals who used the tier 1 (investor) visa route were ‘potentially at high risk’ of having obtained wealth through corruption, illegality or organised crime – and that many were still under investigation by the police.

Ten Russian businessmen who were sanctioned after the invasion of Ukraine had also used the visa scheme, she added.

But the government’s response, which emerged in a written ministerial statement, has been described as ‘totally inadequate’ and ‘a cover-up’ by opposition MPs.

Many had blamed the scheme for allowing Kremlin-backed oligarchs to enter UK public life, The Guardian reports.

The tier 1 visa route, whereby wealthy individuals could buy the right to live in the UK by investing in British-registered companies, was shut in February after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid fears that the system was being abused.

Suella Braverman issues ministerial statement after long-awaited review of tier 1 (investor) visa scheme

Until then, for £2m, foreign nationals could be granted a visa, with more benefits the higher the investment and a ‘steady path’ to achieving ‘much-prized UK citizenship

In a ministerial written statement, Braverman said the Home Office examined 6,312 tier 1 migrants and their adult dependants who obtained leave between the launch of the route on 30 June 2008, and the introduction on 6 April 2015 of a requirement to open a regulated UK bank account.

‘The review of cases identified a small minority of individuals connected to the tier 1 (investor) visa route that were potentially at high risk of having obtained wealth through corruption or other illicit financial activity, and/or being engaged in serious and organised crime,’ Braverman said.

‘UK law enforcement have access to this data and are taking action as appropriate under their operational remits… A range of actions has and is being considered including, where appropriate, immigration action.

‘Whilst unable to comment specifically due to operational sensitivity of work – as an example of the range of actions we are taking I can say that we have already sanctioned 10 oligarchs who had previously used this route as part of our extensive response to Russian aggression in the Ukraine.’

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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