London : Visas to settle down in Britain could be auctioned to some of the wealthiest bidders under new proposals being considered by the UK government, reports PTI. Under the proposal, overseas millionaires will be invited to bid for a limited proportion of investor or Tier 1 UK visas that allow holders and their families to live indefinitely in Britain. The proposals have been put forward by the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in response to concerns that the existing investor visa route fails to benefit the UK. Indians have ranked fifth on the scale of such investor visas since 2008.
The majority have gone to Russian or Chinese nationals – 433 and 419 respectively – followed by US citizens 93, Egyptians 46, Indian 44, Kazakhstanis 41, Iranians 38, Pakistanis 38, Australians 36 and Canadians 36, out of a total of 1,647.
The cost has remained unchanged since the scheme was introduced in 1994 and the MAC has now recommended doubling the minimum investment to £2 million and auctioning slots with a reserve price of £2.5 million.
The changes recommended in its report released here would apply to settlement rights only and not citizenship. It would be the first scheme of its kind anywhere in the world, but the decision on whether to implement it rests with UK home secretary Theresa May.