Anna Mikhailova and Mark Franchetti
The Sunday Times
22 December 2014

Super-rich Russians buy way into UK to escape crisis

Record numbers of Russian multi-millionaires are buying their way into Britain by using a cash-for-visas scheme to fast-track their residency and become citizens.

Kamal Rahman, a lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, which handles many Russian applications, said: “The thing our Russian clients are interested in is citizenship. Investing the higher amount reduces the time from six years to five.”

Rahman expects a continued increase in Russian applications with the recent economic instability. She added that the average time period between applying for an investment visa and it being granted was six weeks — although this year the process took 24 hours for one client.

The Russian businessman in question moved his family to the UK and bought a £30m home in London after receiving his visa.

Sometimes there are business or personal circumstances that make an application compelling,” she said.

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