Investor access to UK boosted by wealth visas

THE NUMBER of UK visas issued for foreign investors swelled by a quarter in 2012-13, with high-net worth Chinese visitors making up the largest share of applications.

International law firm Pinsent Masons reveals today that 530 investor visas were issued in 2012-13, up from 423 in 2011-12.

The number of visas issues has nearly doubled since 2010-11, when only 235 wealthy applicants were allowed into the UK.

Applicants for such visas need to either bring £1m to the UK, or have a personal net worth of £2m and a £1m loan from a British bank.

Chinese investors now make up just shy of a third of successful applications, with only 12 per cent coming from the US.

“Russia, where so many of these investors now come from, has a fairly volatile stock and housing market that can make it a risky place to invest, and many of the Chinese investors who flock to the UK feel that their wealth is better protected,” said Jill Turner, of Pinsent Masons.

The number of visas issued to Egyptians has also risen during the country’s political turmoil, from 10 in 2011-12 to 19 this year.

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