The government has finally admitted that the controversial golden visa scheme did allow ‘high’ risk people to become British citizens.
Now the government concedes a “small” number of wealthy foreign investors were “potentially at high risk” of having links to corruption or serious organised crime.
Suella Braverman set out the findings after the government shut down the tier 1 investor visa route.
Russians were said to be some of the principal beneficiaries of “golden visas”.
The scheme was launched in 2008, and applicants needed to have at least £1 million in investment funds in active and trading UK registered companies. It was finally shut down in February 2022.
Braverman said 6,312 investors and their dependents got visas under the scheme between 2008 and 2015.
Suella also said the review showed “a disproportionate number of applicants” for these visas came from countries where there was a high risk of cross-border money laundering, and there was evidence of some “golden visa” applicants “seeking out and exploiting financial institutions that had the weakest customer due diligence controls”.
However, Layla Moran didn’t feel the government’s admission did not contain anywhere near enough information about the high risk people who took advantage of the scheme.
She tweeted: “For 5 years the Government have promised that they would release the review into golden visas.
“Today they failed to deliver. Earlier in Parliament I asked for advice on how we can hold ministers to account for their failure to deliver on their promise.”