Britain to look retrospectively at visas issued to wealthy foreigners

Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd arrives to attend a meeting of the National Security Council in Downing Street, in London, March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will look retrospectively at visas issued to wealthy foreign investors and consider whether action needs to be taken, interior minister Amber Rudd said on Wednesday when asked about Russians who had been granted them.

Rudd was asked about 700 Russians who had come to Britain between 2008 and 2015 with a “Tier 1 visa”, given to people who want to run businesses in Britain who have at least 50,000 pounds ($70,750) in investment funds.

“The Tier 1 was already reformed in 2015-2016 and it has been reduced by 84 percent since then,” Rudd told a committee of lawmakers. “I have asked my officials to look at what reforms we may continue with and to take a look at previous ones over the past few years.”

“I have asked to look at the cohort of previous ones to see if there is any action that needs to be taken,” she added.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Theresa May said it was right for Britain to examine whether that part of the visa regime was being used properly.

Reporting by Alistair Smout and Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison