"We will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system," Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said in the statement. The new measures "will make sure that only genuine investors, who intend to support U.K. businesses, can benefit from our immigration system."
The new rules concern the Britain's investor visas program — the General visa (Tier 1), which allows immigrants investing millions in the UK to enjoy a fast track route for settlement.
Also known as the "golden visa scheme," the program was pulled by the government until news rules are put in place in 2019.
From then on, applicants will have to show proof of comprehensive audits of their financial and business interests. They will also have to prove they have had control of the £2m of investment funds required to obtain the tier 1 visa for at least two years.
Further, those applying for the visa won't be able to invest in government bonds but must invest in active and trading British companies.
The UK's suspended #GoldenVisa scheme operated in a 'blind faith' period from 2008 to 2015. Find out more in this extract from our report with @Global_Witness > https://t.co/gCUHvTrCPS https://t.co/uzQL9suXCZ— Transparency Int'l (@anticorruption) December 6, 2018
The new rules will significantly affect Chinese investors, who make up almost 50 percent of applicants in the third quarter of 2018. At the same time, the decline in the number of Russian investors, applying for the visa, continued during the quarter, with more applicants coming from the US, India, Turkey and Canada.
Earlier this year, owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich withdrew his tier 1 application as relations between Russia and Britain soured in the light of continuous political contention.