Rich Russians to be kicked out of Britain? 700 wealthy oligarchs may follow diplomat exit

Posted on Mar 30 2018 - 8:54am by admin

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has asked officials to review how more than 700 wealthy Russians, who have secured Tier 1 investor visas, have obtained their wealth.

The announcement comes at a time when Britain has been stepping up retaliatory measures against Russia after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

The Government tightened rules surrounding Tier 1 visas in 2015 as it introduced checks on how those applying for the visa had acquired their wealth.

Russians have typically applied for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, which are awarded to those investing £2 million or more in the UK.

Tier 1 visa applications will no longer be available as of April 6 2018.

Ms Rudd did not make it clear to the Commons home affairs select committee whether the Home Office would take any action if it was discovered that visa holders’ wealth had been acquired through corruption or other such crime.

She suggested use of the visa had declined 86 percent since the reform of the rules and said she had asked officials to look at awards of Tier 1 visas made “over the last few years”.

Yvette Cooper, chair of the committee, asked whether retrospective action was being taken over visas issued before the 2015 reform.

Ms Rudd replied: “I’ve asked to look at a cohort of previous ones, to see if there’s a decision that needs to be taken.”

The Home Secretary acknowledged that a review of 14 deaths in the UK, where police have previously ruled out foul play, is also underway to see if there are any links to Russian interference.

Ms Rudd said that the investigation into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury of Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian spy and his daughter, Yulia was the immediate priority.

On the Salisbury attack the Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that an additional 130 people might have been exposed to the military-grade nerve agent.

Mrs May has described the attack on Mr Skripal as a “brazen and reckless act of aggression” and that it was an “unlawful use of force against the UK”.

She said: “As long as we defend our interests and stand up for our values, there will continue to be those who seek to undermine or attack us.

“But these people should be in no doubt that we will use every capability at our disposal to defeat them.”

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