Roman Abramovich’s Tier 1 visa renewal delayed

The Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, is facing a delay in respect of his visa renewal, amid claims that he may have to reveal the source (or sources) of his wealth before he can enter the UK on a new Tier 1 visa. 

Review of the funds of Russian Tier 1 visa holders

Rather than apply for residency, Mr Abramovich has chosen to continue visiting the UK on the basis of a Tier 1 visa despite his long-term associations with Chelsea FC and the UK. His previous visa is said to have expired in April, but he has not yet received a new visa, despite making his application for a visa renewal. The delay is said to be as the result of a review of the funds of Russian Tier 1 visa holders (approximately 700), ordered by Amber Rudd in the wake of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. As Mr Abramovich is currently abroad, his visa renewal application will have to come from outside the UK, and he will also be subject to the tougher standards introduced in 2015 to regulate the grant of a Tier 1 visa. 

Requirements of a Tier 1 visa

A Tier 1 visa allows someone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who invests more than £2 million in the UK economy to stay for 40 months. However, since 2015, applicants can be refused a Tier 1 visa if they are not in control of funds, if the money has been obtained unlawfully, or if the origin of the funds means granting a visa will not be conducive to the public good. The Guardian has reported that there has been an 84% fall in the number of Tier 1 Investor Visa applications since the reforms were introduced.

No suggestion of wrong doing

As with the vast majority of people applying for a visa, or making a visa renewal application, there is no suggestion that Roman Abramovich has been involved in any wrongdoing. It is simply another example of how the tightening up of Government policy on immigration can affect everyone – although admittedly only a few will be billionaire football club owners!

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