Britain Halts Suspension of Visa Program for Rich Investors

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. government didn’t follow through on a pledge last week to overhaul a visa program popular with wealthy people.

“The Tier 1 investor visa is not currently suspended, however we remain committed to reforming the route,” a spokesman for the Home Office department confirmed by email, without explaining why it didn’t impose the change on Friday, as it had announced it would a day earlier. The change was reported earlier by the Independent.

The program grants access to affluent foreign nationals if they invest at least 2 million pounds ($2.5 million) in the U.K. The freeze was meant to implement changes designed to mitigate money laundering and organized crime threats.

The visa is open to those from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Chinese investors have increasingly turned to the visas in recent years, making up almost 50 percent of applicants in the third quarter, according to data compiled by financial services firm Shard Capital Partners LLP. Russians have also been regular applicants.

Britain Halts Suspension of Visa Program for Rich Investors

The Home Office’s press team didn’t immediately reply to messages left outside of normal business hours.

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