Friday, May 30, 2014

EU Free Movement Rules And 'Cash For Citizenship' Allow Wealthy Investors To Fast Track Visas

Cynthia Barker writes...Fridays are always manic, as there's always a deadline and the phones are non stop! I will get two cases off to the Home Office before close of business today: a spouse visa and an ILR or indefinite leave to remain application.

Had a call from a nurse in Malta today. Originally from Asia, he is now working in Malta as a general nurse, but would like to work in the UK.

Although Malta is a member of the European Union (EU) he cannot enjoy complete free movement within EEA countries as he is on a work permit and does not hold a Maltese passport.

Thousands of non-EU migrant workers live and work in EU countries for years without gaining citizenship. In the UK, if you are a migrant on a working visa can apply for ILR (permanent residency) after 5 years and British citizenship a year later. Workers in other EU countries are not treated so fairly.

For instance, I have met Filipino and Indian migrants who have worked in Italy, Greece and Cyprus for over 10 years who are still on temporary residence visas.

Whilst there are some common EU immigration policies, each member state still makes up there own national rules.

This year I hope to visit several EU countries to offer advice to migrant workers who may have the opportunity to gain citizenship or petition their families under EEA regulations or apply under specific judgments such as Zambrano, Chen and Surinder Singh.

As with most things in life, money talks. EU countries such as the UK, Malta, Latvia and Bulgaria are offering immediate residence to investors and, depending on how much cash you have, a fast track to citizenship - otherwise know as "cash for citizenship"!

The UK has higher limits and stricter rules on how long you need to stay in the country to qualify for a 'red' passport, but other countries are far more flexible because they need your money!

If you have 500,000 Euros to invest (normally put into government bonds) you could get an immediate 'investor visa' with residency and a EU member state passport allowing you free movement in any EU country within 3 years. Interested? Email me.

You may ask why a wealthy African, Russian or Chinese investor would want an EU passport when he or she can travel pretty much anywhere they like and live a life of luxury in their own countries? There are a number of reasons why an EU country passport offers security for them and of course their children. For example, not all countries have the same human rights protection, rule of law or fair justice in the legal system, as a few Russian billionaires have found to their cost.

Some wealthy individuals plan years ahead and want to set their children up with a more secure life in the west, while others want shelter their assets in the London property market. 

As for our nurse in Malta, he should register with the NMC and obtain a decision letter, as the UK NHS needs overseas nurses to fill 20,000 nurse job vacancies right now. Concept Care is recruiting qualified specialist nurses for the NHS and will be holding open recruitment events this year in Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, China and the Philippines. In fact, wherever there are qualified English speaking nurses, Concept Care will be there! 

If you need advice on any immigration matter, including overstaying your visa, EU or UK immigration law, or want to appeal against a refusal, call Cynthia Barker on 07850 307687 or 0208 731 5972 or email her your details to Cynthia Barker is a qualified OISC Registered Immigration Adviser, with 15 years experience in immigration matters, with a team of Level 3 Immigration Law Practitioners, Concept Care Solutions, Middlesex House, 29-45 High Street, Edgware, HA8 7UU.

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