In 2018, Nirav Modi fled India to live in the UK just a few days before the PNB (Punjab National Bank) scam broke and he was found to be involved in ₹13,000 crore scam.
Amid the discussion surrounding what made this possible, it was revealed that he went to UK on 'golden visa' and here we see what's it all about.
1. This is a special visa that allows wealthy people from outside European Union and Switzerland to settle in UK, with the requirement being investment of capital in Britain.
2. Introduced in 2008, it has allowed many rich people to settle in UK and in turn boost the economy by putting in money.
3. The visa allows the spouse and children of the person to also apply for residency under the 'Tier 1' investor visa.
How does one get 'golden visa'?
1. You have to invest or put in $2.5 million as an investment in Britain to get the visa, after which you can apply for permanent residency within 5 years.
How does it work?
1. With an investment of £2 million for 5 years, a person can apply for permanent residency.
2. To speed up the process, they can invest £5 million or £10 million to be able to apply for PR after 3 and 2 years, respectively.
3. The program doesn't allow any direct citizenship.
Handing out 'golden visa' in exchange of an investment has been controversial and has drawn severe backlash, with people pointing out that it supports corruption and works as an escape route to people involved in financial fraud.
A golden visa allows holders to study, work or set up a business in the UK but they can't invest in property business.