The United Kingdom is preparing to scrap its ‘golden visa’ scheme, that fast-tracks residency for wealthy foreign investors, over concerns of money laundering.

A BBC report quoted a government source saying an announcement was expected next week on the Tier 1 investor visas.

This comes as pressure mounts on UK to cut ties with Russia over the threat of invasion to Ukraine.

In 2020, UK Parliament’s intelligence and security committee argued for a “more robust” approach to approving Tier 1 visas as part of a report on Russian influence in the UK. The report said many Russians with close links to Putin used this scheme to influence policies and businesses in the UK.

The Home Office has issued 14,516 investor visas to Russian citizens since the scheme opened in 2008.

254 Indian millionaires received the golden visa between 2008 and 2020.

The UK Investment Visa is a Tier 1 visa, part of the UK Points Based System, offered to wealthy individuals willing to invest a minimum of £2 million in the UK. The higher the amount of money invested, the quicker the individual can apply for settlement and eventually British citizenship.

UK’s attempt to close the “golden visa” scheme comes as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that a new set of sanctions were being prepared if Putin’s forces attacked Ukraine.

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