Arguably, 2018’s most infamous conman Nirav Modi flew the coop right before the PNB (Punjab National Bank) scam made headlines. Speculations were rife about what facilitated and expedited his escape. All the while, the man involved in the Rs. 13,000 crore scam was cooling his heels in the UK with a ‘Golden Visa’.
Seeking political asylum is passé. Forget extradition intricacies for white-collar criminals have been throwing a new Hail Mary since 2008. Far more lucrative than Willy Wonka’s Golden ticket, we bring you 10 facts about the mysterious ‘Golden Visa’.
1. A unique category of visa, this aids wealthy foreign nationals from outside the European Union or Switzerland to reside in Britain. Their stay is conditional, as they must invest their capital in the UK. Britain has accepted people from several nationalities over the years, provided they agreed to invest in their economy effectively giving it a boost.
2. It was incepted in 2008 and Nirav Modi isn’t the only foreign national UK has welcomed with open arms.
3. Apart from the primary applicant, the Golden Visa lets you settle down with your husband or wife and kids in tow. In fact, your spouse and kids are eligible to apply for residency under the ‘Tier 1’ investor visa.
Smooth, eh? Wondering how you can get your hands on it? Here’s how!
4. The first task is to put up the money (read, investment) amounting to £2 million (Rs. 18 crores) to the country. This makes you eligible to apply for permanent residency in the next 5 years.
5. Next, the money invested in UK government bonds, share capital or companies, must stay invested for a 5-year period, reported Business Today.
However, based on the kind of heat you’re facing, there is a criterion to expedite matters.
6. Investing £5 million (Rs. 45 crores) makes you eligible for PR after 3 years. While a £10 million (Rs. 91 crores) investment in the economy helps you apply for PR after just 2 years.
7. The one glitch is that this program takes direct citizenship off the table.
8. The Golden Visa gives people a new lease on life facilitating work, helping holders study, and even become entrepreneurs in the UK.
9. You can apply for the Golden Visa from overseas, reports TOI. Furthermore, your native passport being revoked shall not affect the status of this lucrative visa (much like the case of Nirav Modi).
10. Oh, did we mention? You also can’t invest in the property business in Britain.
The much debated ‘Golden Visa’ has received flak since people claimed it supports corruption and offers an easy escape to white collar criminals guilty of financial fraud. Nevertheless, it remains valid in the UK.
What do you make of this intriguing escape plan? Tell us in the comments!