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The Government has announced a new ‘red carpet’ approach to immigration for the super rich:

From April 6, investors who come to the UK and invest £5m will be allowed to settle here after three years and those that invest £10m or more will be allowed to settle after two.

The amount of time that such individuals can spend outside the UK and still qualify for settlement is also being increased, from 90 days per year to 180 days per year. In addition, the rules for entrepreneurs are being very helpfully relaxed, so that investment of £50,000 can qualify if the proposed business is ‘high potential’ and the funds come from a reputable organisation and also to allow partnerships to invest rather than just individuals. A new form of visitor is being created to permit entrepreneurs to come to the UK to investigate, secure funding and then

The announcement on the main Home Office site can be found here and the more detailed announcement on the UK Border Agency site here. The new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 863) can be found here.

This is all excellent news for investors and entrepreneurs, but it does markedly contrast with immigration routes for the swinish herd. Unlike any other category of migrant, refugees are still prohibited from marrying third country nationals, for example, and ordinary spouses face not only the age increase but also the English language test and, it seems, a longer probationary period before qualifying for settlement.

It is amazing what a few hundred thousand pounds can buy you these days, with the Tories in charge.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


13 Responses

  1. Awesome news for retired gun-runners, drug barons and out-of-favour oligarchs, I’d say.

  2. Would it have been any different under a Labour government? I doubt it. Just a pity that the Lib Dems have no inclination to try to push their pro-immigant policies now they are (nominally) in power.

    I had thought we were moving away from buying passports though (remember the Mittal case?) but it seems not.

  3. FM – I see the HO website logo has copied the orange colour from within your logo.
    The future’s bright……..

    The level of fee to be charged for the initial visa will be quite challenging to set.

    I agree with Victoria – NuLabour treated visa charges as an indirect tax.

    Interesting to see political commentators say Theresa May has been one of the coalition’s best performining ministers thus far. Who’d have predicted that?

  4. This is absurd; at a deeper level it sends a strong message of discrimination based on inequality as well as a blatant red carpet for those 9k plus Saudi relatives and all those currently being deposed in the middle east. What a blatant lack of humanistic values. I guess this is the Big Society on display!

  5. It’s sickening, albeit not particularly surprising, that the govt quote a major player in the international tax avoidance industry, Henley and Ptners, in their press release on the new rules – a firm whose raison d’etre is to ensure that the exchequer benefits as little as (‘lawfully’ of course) possible from our new citizens. Good to know that Prince Andrew will have a bunch of new mates to party with though.

    Seems like the 30000 responses to the Tier 4 consultation has caught the govt in the headlights – weren’t we expecting the tier 4 rule changes about now too?

  6. Just wait till this country is powered by middle eastern oligarch Tories.. The pendulum when it swings back will need to be scimitar…

    1. I didn’t realise it wasn’t already!

      These days when people talk about a decapitation policy they usually mean it metaphorically, albeit a little melodramatically as well. For myself, I’m not sure your proposed policy would necessarily enhance the UK’s reputation as a global business hub, nor promote integration terribly well.

  7. Hmmm…. a good time to be cramming up on Bahraini royal customs…?

    We all know that the balance sheet has taken over UK immigration policy. But surely at this point Nick Clegg should be saying: “Ok, Davey boy, it’s my turn now.”

  8. Thanks for the interesting post.

    I very much doubt things woud have been any different under a Labour Government. This merely represents an extension of the general approach adopted by Labour, and indeed many governments accross the globe.

    The closure of tier 3 in circumstances where one of the most valuable exports of devleping countries is its ‘poor unskilled labour’, the application of fixed maintenance requirements, the limiting of the Youth Mobility Scheme to non’developing countries’, the shift to charging well above costs price value for certain immigration applications, the exemption for meeting language requirements for high net worth values, the introduction of pre-entry English language testing not just for spouses (first proposed by Labour) but for others too, were all Labour initiatives which took place during a 10 year or so period of sustained economic growth.

    So whilst I agree that immigration policy should absolutely reflect human rights values – this is the inustice that you seem to draw out here, I’m not sure that I would go along with this sort of analysis – i.e. this is the introduction of some new ideologically driven approach that favours the rich (it’s one that my colleagues share actually).

    The sad reality is that the immigration system- in particular the labour migration system has reflected this idea for a long time. There is a large amount of political consensus around it at both national and global levels, and one might expect in the light of the existing very different economic climate, that the system will go on to become even more steeply stratified in a way favours the rich and works to the detriment of the poor.

    Anyway, that’s my tuppence worth on the subject!

    1. And a very clear tuppence it was too!

      But I think the impact of the policy should take precedence over who introduced it.

      So, coming soon… the new face of the UK. An emerging social strata of extremely wealthy immigrants, ten highly skilled non-EU nationals, EU nationals and the average UK citizen Joe.

      I wonder who’s going to muck out the toilets?