Wealthy Chinese buying ‘golden UK visas’

04 Apr 2018 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The number of wealthy Chinese people buying “golden UK visas’ that allow them permanent residency in Britain in exchange for the investment of at least £2 million of assets increased significantly last year, according to new statistics.

Under the UK visa scheme, wealthy people are allowed to remain in Britiain for three years if they invest £2 million or more in UK government bonds and other assets, aside from property. After this time, they can apply for permanent settlement if they invest £5 million, or after just two years if they invest £10 million.

Wealthy people from mainland China took 116 of the 355 investor visas on offer from the UK government in 2017, marking a 56 per cent increase on figures for 2016, according to statistics released by the LJ Partnership, a London private wealth partnership.

If recipients from Hong Kong and Macau are taken into account, then visa figures rise to 146 for Chinese residents, marking an even greater increase of 82.5 per cent compared to 2016.

In fact, figures showed that the number of people from mainland China who were granted UK visas for investment outnumbered the number of Russians by 250 per cent.

Commenting on the statistics, Charles Filmer, partner an head of private office at LJ Partnership, suggested that the fluctuations in concern over Brexit could explain the fluctuations in figures.

“Brexit was for a while a signal for Chinese to watch and see,” he said. “But now Brexit just isn’t a topic that is discussed. It doesn’t make any difference at all.”