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Tag Archive: Russian Oligarchs


Proposal to allow wealthy to bid for tier-one visas criticised as creating ‘eBay culture’ for British residence
Passports being checked at passport control

Visas giving the right to settle in Britain are already available to rich individuals under tier one of the points-based immigration system. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Visas giving the right to settle in Britain could be auctioned off to the highest bidders under proposals expected to be unveiled on Tuesday by the government’s official immigration advisers.

The suggestion, expected from the home secretary’s migration advisory committee (Mac), has already been criticised by immigration lawyers for creating an “eBay culture” for permanent UK residence.

Under the proposal overseas millionaires will be invited to bid for a limited proportion of investor or tier-one UK visas which allow holders and their families to live indefinitely in Britain.

A second option would allow visas to be “bought” through donations to hospitals or universities.

The proposals are expected to be put forward in response to concerns that the existing investor visa route is failing to benefit the UK and has simply become a cheap way for some wealthy Russian, Chinese and Middle Eastern families to settle permanently in Britain.

The existing route, known as tier one of the points-based immigration system, lets rich individuals accelerate the process of being allowed to settle in the UK by between two and five years depending on how much is invested.

Applications have been running at about 600 a year to apply under this route which does not require applicants to be able to speak English or have a job to come to.

Official concern over the use being made of tier-one visas first came to light in December 2012 when the Home Office announced that leveraged investment funds held in offshore accounts could not be used to fund their investments in Britain.

 

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Oligarchs buy UK visas for £1million: Now Home Office advisers want to auction them off for at least £2.5m so taxpayers get a better deal

  • Migration Advisory Committee issues call for immigration shake-up
  • Oligarchs offered visas for taking on £1million of £1trillion national debt
  • Wants 100 visas to be sold at auction or given to donors to universities

By James Slack

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Britian has been handing visas to hundreds of Russian oligarchs in return for them paying at least £1million towards our £1.2trillion national debt.

Russian and Chinese businessmen have been allowed to jump to the front of the immigration queue by ‘investing’ a seven-figure sum in Government gilts.

Immigration advisers say the foreign investors and their families are the big winners because as long as they have their money stored in Treasury bonds, they can settle in the UK and enjoy its fair legal system and good schools.

The Home Office's Migration Advisory Committee warned the British public get 'very little out of' the deals which allow Russian and Chinese businessmen have been allowed to jump to the front of the immigration queue

The Home Office’s Migration Advisory Committee warned the British public get ‘very little out of’ the deals which allow Russian and Chinese businessmen have been allowed to jump to the front of the immigration queue

 

Indeed, because they receive interest on the bonds, the Government is effectively paying the wealthy to live here – where they can then also invest in our lucrative property market. If they take their money out of the bonds the visa is revoked.

But the British public gets very little out of the deal, according to the Home Office’s Migration Advisory Committee.

It is calling for a major shake-up of the scheme to get more benefit for the British taxpayer.

Currently, non-EU nationals who invest £1million, £5million or £10million can apply for permanent residency after five, three or two years respectively.

Under proposed new rules, the minimum amount they would need to invest to come here would be doubled to £2million and they would be allowed to apply for permanent residency after five years.

Instead of going into bonds, MAC suggests the money could be ploughed into large infrastructure projects.

More controversially, the committee also wants around 100 visas to be auctioned off to the highest bidder every year.

 

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ZeroHedge

 

Once upon a time (in April), a few weeks after reversing its initial disastrous decision to haircut all deposits (including insured ones) the Troika slammed large Cypriot depositors (read evil Russian oligarchs) with a “bail-in” template, soon coming to all insolvent European nations, that included not only a forced assignment of equity in broke Cypriot banks, but far more importantly a haircut that amounted to 37.5% of deposits over €100,000. Since then a few things have happened in Cyprus, neither of them good, i.e., an a record collapse in bank deposits despite capital controls and a record crash in the local real estate market.

The confluence of both these events meant that as bank liabilities shrank (deposits), asset fair values (home mortgages) collapsed even faster. Which, as we warned in March, would entail bigger and more aggressive deposit haircuts, and ultimately: another bailout of Cyprus (something the president floated but promptly denied upon rejection by Merkel ahead of her September elections). Today, we learn that while the inevitable next bailout of Cyprus is still on the table, the deposit “haircut” just upgraded to an aggravated Brazilian wax, as the 37.5% gentle trim initially proposed was revised to 47.5%.

InCyprus reports:

The Finance Ministry and the Troika appeared to be converging on an agreement on the haircut of uninsured deposits over 100,000 euros in the Bank of Cyprus at 47.5%.

After marathon negotiations at the Finance Ministry further talks continued at Central Bank until late into the night with Finance Minister Haris Georgiades focussing on the technical issues that had arisen.

 

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