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72 Indian millionaires migrated to UK since 2008

A total of 74 Indian millionaires have used a “Golden Visa” scheme to migrate to Britain with their dependents since 2008, according to the latest figures from the UK home office.

world Updated: Aug 30, 2017 15:11 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
India-UK relations,Indian millionaires in UK,Golden Visas scheme
According to the latest figures from Britain’s home office,74 Indian millionaires have used a “Golden Visa” scheme to migrate to the UK with their dependents since 2008. (Representative Photo)

India is among the top countries whose millionaires have used a “golden visa” to migrate to Britain with their dependents - the latest figures show 72 Indian millionaires with 84 dependents were granted the Tier 1 Investors Visa introduced in 2008.

Other countries whose millionaires have used the visa the most include China, Russia andthe United States, contributing billions of pounds to the British economy. Except for nationality, no other details of such migrants are available.

Until November 2014, the minimum investment required under the category was £1 million, which was increased to £2 million after a Home Office committee found in February 2015 that the threshold was not bringing enough benefits to the economy.

The earlier investments thresholds were £1 million, £5 million or £10 million, which led to permanent residence to the visa holders and their dependents in five, three or two years respectively, and eventual citizenship. The first threshold wasraised to £2 million.

Campaign group Transparency International (TI)has expressed concerns about the possibility of money being laundered through the visa route. It called for more checks on applicants and their investment plans in a recent report.

In thereport titled Paradise Lost, TI made recommendations to ensure Britain does not become “a prime destination for corrupt individuals looking to invest or launder the proceeds of their illicit wealth, enjoy a luxury lifestyle and cleanse their reputations”.

TI said: “Corrupt individuals can use the UK’s Tier 1 (Investor) visasystem – otherwise known asGolden Visas– to secure residency in the UK, thereby receiving an implicit endorsement of their money’s legitimacy from the UK state.”

Home Office figures showed that from a peak in 2014 (when the threshold was raised to £2 million), the number of those granted the golden visas has been declining, possibly due to tighter checks on applicants.

However, Britain’s investment threshold is considered attractive compared to similar visa schemes offered byPortugal, the US or Australia.

Britain continues to be an attractive destination and a safe haven for global millionaires because of its historical links, the benefits of a stable, liquid economy, political stability and being largely free from government interference in private individual assets.

Indian millionaires using UK'sTier 1 Investors Visa

2008: 0

2009: 3

2010: 4

2011:11

2012:12

2013:16

2014: 12

2015: 4

2016: 5

2017: 5

Total no of millionaires: 72

Total no of dependents: 84

(Source: Home Office)

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 19:35 IST