Recently, the Home Office instituted a new visa scheme where rich individuals could gain a visa into the United Kingdom simply by investing two and a half million pounds in the United Kingdom. This visa would lead to a citizenship within two years, allowing the wealthy people to avoid all immigration checks. The recently released report prepared by the Home Affairs Select Committee stated that the results of this scheme would be nothing short of disastrous. They expressed fears that if this were allowed to occur, super wealthy individuals could seek refuge in the United Kingdom despite their participation in various illegal activities.
While two and a half million pounds is a large sum of money for a normal individual, it is a paltry sum for any major criminal. This VIP scheme will lure such anti – social elements into the United Kingdom, and this will, undoubtedly, cause a ton of trouble. Last month, a judge made a controversial statement when he likened the United Kingdom’s borders to a leaking sieve. The judge was motivated to make the statement after an Albanian citizen managed to return to the United Kingdom for a fourth time, after being deported out of the United Kingdom thrice! To make matters worse, the citizen in question was a hardened criminal and was found to be in possession of nearly a kilogram of cocaine. Naturally, this trend is very disturbing and needs to be curbed. This glorified visa auction scheme only provides such individuals with another channel to enter the United Kingdom.
Apart from the actual two and a half million pound visas, there is another plan to auction off a hundred visas to the highest bidder. The citizenship privileges to the United Kingdom are literally for sale! This has got to put a dent in James Brokenshire’s speech which pompously claimed that an individual’s citizenship is a privilege, not a right and needs to be earned. The scheme shows how it can be earned! The real concern has been that the existing investor visas to the United Kingdom have become a cheap way for wealthy Russians and Chinese to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom.
As of now, most people who buy visas under this scheme simply trade their money for government bonds. They then sell these bonds back to the government once they obtain citizenship. This provides absolutely no benefit to the United Kingdom as a country since it is just like storing money in a safe. To circumscribe this, the new scheme stresses that the money must be endowed to either a prestigious academic institution or a hospital or some other good cause. Of course the question here remains, who identifies what is a good cause? What with ball park estimates of the number of individuals entering the United Kingdom from Bulgaria and Romania and this new visa auction scheme, the Home Office seems to be surrounded by a slew of problems. How well the scheme can be implemented, only time will tell.