The UK government is planning to auction off tier-one UK visas and this move was agreed upon by immigration advisors to the government. This move will allow millionaires across the world to have access to a platform where they can live permanently in the UK albeit they invest in the country. As in an auction, the highest bidder gets the prize, so will this propose be and immigration layers are describing it as eBay platform for permanent settlement.
If this comes to reality, then millionaires will have a chance to come with their families and settle permanently in the UK, if they are the able to outbid others for a limited amount of visas. Chairman of the committee which is responsible for this new proposal, David Metcalf says selling visas is better than what they are doing now as he believes that presently Britain is giving away visas.
The current tier-one system is a points based system and many believes is a failure as it only allows rich persons from places such as China, Russia and the Middle East to come to the UK and live with little investment. In December of 2012, it was announced by the Home Office that some tier-one visa holders had offshore accounts and these funds could not be used to invest in Britain.
The committee is proposing that bids form a minimum of £2.5m could be made for about 100 visas which will be called premium visas. Investors who receive visas will be required to finance £2.5m towards infrastructure among other things and also £500,000 donated for charity.
These millionaires would be allowed to settle in the UK after 2 years rather than the usual 5 years and also they get to spend 90 days annually, and not the current 180 days. They must also apply to get the UK passport just like everybody else.
The Committee chairman said the proposed idea was done in Singapore but their way was to develop a formula to create a price for the market. He denied this being a way to sell British citizenships and believes the British people would benefit as the investment will come into the country as oppose to the current system which offers little to the people. Metcalf stated that more creative thinking should be allocated to this proposal and believes that if persons are willing to finance upwards of £10m in infrastructure or the economy then they might get a chance to settle in the UK and he thinks an in depth discussion should be done.
Nick Rollason, who is from a recognized law firm in central London, believes that this new proposal by the committee could create an eBay like atmosphere and won’t be viewed as popular by the public.
An immigration layer from Laura Devine Solicitors said that this proposal was rejected by the Home Office before the current system came into effect and it was the right to reject then and that now, this new idea does not send out a good message to the people. She also believes that government will accommodate broader policy suggestions in order to come up with a final solution.