If only the Egregious Professor understood the subject under discussion

The headline:

The UK’s passports for sale scheme is not taking back control: it’s flogging the country to the highest bidder

Well, yes, OK, selling passports could be thought of that way of course. I think it’s a great idea myself but still.

The FT has reported that:

The number of wealthy Chinese acquiring UK “golden visas” that give residency in return for investing £2m or more in assets rose sharply last year as worries over Brexit paled next to Britain’s attractiveness as a secure bolthole for international money.

Mainland Chinese took 116 of the 355 “investor visas” granted in 2017 by the UK government to wealthy individuals, up 56 per cent from the previous year.

Umm, an investor visa is a passport for sale is it?

At a time when migration is an issue in UK politics passports should not be for sale to anyone.

Interesting, I hadn’t known that a visa means a passport. In fact, I rather thought that the one precluded the other. A British passport, a full one, means that you don’t need a visa to come here, doesn’t it?

Secondly, this whole policy clearly undermines the idea of citizenship and commoditises it. This is the antithesis of any idea of nationhood which supposedly so matters to this government.

In fact, it’s not citizenship.

Fifth, there is no evidence that the people who supposedly ‘invest’ in the UK actually deliver value. They may live here. But do they really deliver for the UK? I suspect not, at all. Tourism is useful, but not that useful and many who acquire these passports will not be here much of the year, I suspect.

Well, yes, investment is useful, even from foreigners. And it’s not a passport.

Sixth, and perhaps most important, the whole idea that citizenship is based on principles is abandoned.

It’s still not citizenship.

Here are the rules about such a Tier 1 (Investor) visa:

How long you can stay
You can come to the UK with a Tier 1 (Investor) visa for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months.

It’s not a passport, it’s not citizenship, it’s a time limited visa allowing, for that time period and that period only, residency.

Ritchie’s not a clue, has he?

15 comments on “If only the Egregious Professor understood the subject under discussion

  1. A whopping three hundred and fifty-five, eh? Gosh, that’ll put a strain on the county’s infrastructure.

  2. Plenty of countries go further and will offer citizenship or at least a preferential/acccelerated process if you are investing.
    They will also offer similar routes to professions/jobs they want more of, it’s how my wife and I got to Canada going from a professional visa for her with her employer and a spouse open visa for me to find work and kids to go to school, with accelerated residency within 18 months then just the standard citizenship process after that.
    Anyone who hasn’t been through it underestimated the sheer bureaucracy and paperwork involved in the process.

  3. If you invest 5m quid you can apply to settle permanently after 3 years, 10m quid and you wait 2 years. So it is a path to getting citizenship.

    However, I can’t name that many people I know who are worth 10m quid and are planning on subjecting themselves to the NHS or sending their kids to a state school. And given that all spending ultimately ends up with the government 😉 isn’t having these high spenders here a good thing?

  4. One wonders if Murphy exercised the same care and diligence in reading and interpreting tax law (which requires a quite extraordinary degree of care if one is not to fvck it up) when acting as a “professional tax adviser” as he does with general reading and understanding?

  5. Bravefart – perhaps that’s why he is not a professional tax adviser now? Because he proved to be too amateur and other people, as we know, find after a while they cannot work with him.

  6. We have a similar system here in Canada and occasionally I have disagreements with people about it, usually for incoherent reasons similar to Spudnik’s.

    I ask them, and I’d ask Spud, but he hasn’t approved one of my comments for a long time, whether a country should prefer poor, stupid and/or lazy immigrants over wealthy, clever and hard working ones.

    It usually takes them some time to construct an argument of pure gibberish as to why that’s not what they meant, but if it were it would be wonderful to bring in millions of the “tired, poor, huddled masses” because the rich, even foreign brown rich, are evil, and the poor, stupid and lazy just need a break.

  7. “…this whole policy clearly undermines the idea of citizenship and commoditises it. This is the antithesis of any idea of nationhood…”

    Says Spud. The holder of a British passport. And an Irish passport.

    How’s that fit in with any idea of nationhood, you fat hypocritical cunt?

  8. C’mon Tim, most people have no idea of these differences. It’s why on the right you get fake news insisting that Angela Merkel has granted citizenship/given passports to millions of Syrians. You think Spud will have a deeper appreciation of the difference between citizenship, having a passport, and having a visa any more than other fakers can distinguish between citizenship and extraordinary leave to reside?

    I agree with BniC that you have to have been through it to fully appreciate how much effort and expense is involved. Getting a visa doesn’t compare in either effort or entitlement.

  9. If granting the right to reside to a few hundred Chinese is somehow doing down citizenship, what’s the impact of allowing a few hundred million Europeans the same right of residence?

  10. The status gained is a “leave to remain” (i.e. residence status). Depending on how much you invest, the time period for this to become “an indefinite leave to remain” (aka permanent residence or residence without time restriction) is either 4 or 5 years. Under the British Nationality Act (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61), among the many requirements is that the individual be “resident in the UK for at least 5 years, with at least one of those years being without time restriction. Therefore those who invest the higher amount could possibly meet this requirement in 5 years while lesser investors would take at least 6 years. Once ALL the naturalization requirements are met, then one can apply for UK citizenship. The processing times vary but are currently a minimum of 6 months https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/after-youve-applied). Once a UK citizen, then one can apply for the travel document of a UK citizen, ie. a UK passport which takes the same processing time as a native Brit.

    The question that is always raised in these scenarios is whether offering residence (like the UK) or nationality (Cyprus) for investment is “ethical”?

    If you want to have this type of discussion it is worth understanding a few basic elements of Citizenship law. Although each country determines their own citizenship laws, citizenship is normally granted on the basis one or more of the following principles:

    Jus sanguinis : Citizenship is granted by having one or both parents who are citizens of the state.

    Jus soli: Commonly referred to as birthright citizenship, this is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship

    Naturalization: This is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenshipor nationality in a country. It may be done by a statute, without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application and approval by legal authorities. The typical naturalization situation is where an individual is granted residence and then completes naturalization requirements such as extended physical presence, tax payment, language, knowledge of local language, laws, history and customs. It can also include Citizenship by Investment or Citizenship by Merit (e.g. Zola Budd – Wikipedia).

    So the real question is whether one method of acquiring citizenship has greater or less merit than the other. If the concern is the granting of citizenship to criminals or persons who will “milk the system”, it is worth noting that the first two methods of citizenship do not screen for these issues. Successful naturalization citizenship applicants will have gone through extensive screening and selection at least once if not twice.

    If the concern is whether the new citizen is contributing to the country, again that is not a consideration under the first two basis but is under naturalization. In short, if avoiding criminality and communal contribution are the most important factors, then from a purely egalitarian viewpoint, only naturalization based citizenship deals with these concerns. As a result, if democratically elected officials believe that Citizenship by Investment is an economically beneficial program to institute in their country, there is really no logical ethical reason why they should not do so.

    However, I acknowledge that logic and clear ethical thinking seem to be strangely absent from the debate surrounding citizenship and even residence.

  11. How’s that fit in with any idea of nationhood, you fat hypocritical cunt?

    Bullseye.

    Anyway, he knows the difference between a visa and a passport. Even he cannot be as stupid as that.

    Firstly, it’s a visa not a passport.
    Secondly, it’s a visa not a passport.
    Thirdly, it’s a visa not a passport.
    Fourthly, it’s a visa not a passport.
    Fifthly, it’s a visa not a passport.
    Candidly, it’s a visa not a passport.

  12. This is the antithesis of any idea of nationhood which supposedly so matters to this government.

    Granting citizenship to penniless Somalis who arrived last Thursday with ten kids, their cousins, aunts and various other distant relatives is fine though. Nothing to see here.

  13. I’m confused.

    Is the perfesser saying that he would prefer that only people who *couldn’t afford to live there* get a British passport?

  14. “Mainland Chinese took 116 of the 355 “investor visas” granted in 2017 by the UK government to wealthy individuals, up 56 per cent from the previous year.”

    Even the “these people are hard working” argument doesn’t actually wash with this lot: How have mainland Chinese (Not Hong Kong, because that is not considered “mainland.”), I.e. citizens of a supposedly Communist country, become millionaires?

    Seriously: The first thing that I can think of and where the party would allow you to take the money out of China would be if you’ve done something nefarious and bribed your way out. Start with the assumption that these people are crooks.

    The only other reason I can think of is that they are wealthy as a result of being property developers or landlords. Is that “hard work” in any way? How many more ethnic idiots mooring up in London buying crap off-plan and practicing that racket does the place need?

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