Disclosure made by UK government advisers states that over the past 5 years over 850 wealthy Russians and Chinese have benefited from a scheme to get permanent residency. With this revelation David Metcalf, who heads the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) believes that the government are just handing out visas to wealthy persons.
The committee findings showed that over 400 Russian and Chinese millionaires each benefited from the current tier-one or investment visa process which entails that if the person is successful with their application they should invest £1 million to get residency. Over the 5 year period only 96 US national made an application. Metcalf believes that this method only gears to help migrant and not the British people.
The report which was compiled at government’s request outlines several recommendations to the current visa scheme. It proposes to increase the minimum £1 million to £2 million. Also they are proposing to have what is called a premium route where bidders will bid and for 100 visas and the highest bidders to take the visas. This idea will set an action platform for millionaire to bid to get a UK visas which will be limited to only 100 annually. Finance will go to a good cause allocated from a surplus in a £2.5 million reserve set for closed bids. Another recommended is to reduce by half the days a person should be present in the UK annually, thus aiding in a faster route to British citizenship. Currently a person must be present in the UK for 180 days annually to be eligible for permanent residency. Metcalf says selling visas is a much more viable option than what is currently in place as he believes that Britain is just handing out visas. He believes that the current scheme is not vigorous and is too easy for anyone to get a UK visa without have a positive investment in the country.
He also criticized law firms claiming that they were quick to lash out at the recommendations by the committee even before the public release of the report. He further accused the layers of being only interested in the money they would get from client for providing their services and not the well-being of British people. He believes the layers are acting in an aggressive manner when the committee proposals will bring finance to a good cause and aid in the development of infrastructure for the UK or for aid to going towards charity to help the less fortunate. He believes that these investments can help in so many sector such as cancer research and even help with inner city project.
Also included in the report was that up the twelve months prior to the ending of last September almost 1600 visas were issued to spouses and children of visa applicant. Making donations to universities or organizations in return for residency was rejected by the committee’s report.
The Home Secretary will make a decision on the direction for these recommendations and weather we will see biding for UK visas in the near future.