IMMIGRATION laws for the richest foreigners will be relaxed as part of plans to encourage more investment in the UK.
New rules would effectively fast-track the biggest spenders to permanent residency, with anyone spending more than £10m qualifying in just two years, compared to the minimum of five years it would currently take. Investors ploughing in £5m would qualify in three years, while those spending £1m would take five years.
Once made residents of the UK, investors would be free to withdraw their investment.
The amount of time those seeking residency have to remain in the country will also be cut from nine months to just six months.
Businesses will also find it easier to bring in staff on entrepreneur visas, with the new rules allowing businesses to bring in an extra overseas employee for every additional £50,000 of investment.
The changes are part of a wider move to overhaul immigration rules, with the number of skilled non-EU workers businesses can bring in being slashed by a fifth. However, “high-net worth” individuals will be exempt from the cap. The proposals are yet to be endorsed by parliament.