University donations could trigger visas for investors, suggests committee

Wealthy foreigners could gain visas and an accelerated route to British citizenship by donating large sums to universities, a new report suggests

February 25, 2014

Recommendations for the reform of the Tier 1 visa route for investors have been released today by the government’s migration advisors.

The Migration Advisory Committee suggests that around 100 “premium route” visas, offering a route to citizenship in two years rather than the normal five, should be auctioned off to the highest bidder each year.

A minimum bid would be worth £2.5 million, with £2 million being invested in the UK and the remaining money going towards “specific good causes rather than general revenue for the Exchequer”, it recommends.

Elsewhere in the report, the committee notes that it received evidence that Tier 1 investors “would be willing to donate significant amounts to worthy causes which are considered socially important, such as NHS Trusts and universities”.

“Such donations would add benefit, not least because they are gifts rather than loans,” Tier 1 (Investor) route: investment thresholds and economic benefits says.

It cautions that there is “limited evidence that this happens on a large scale”, although the law firm Mishcon de Reya provided evidence that 42 per cent (10 of 24) of its clients using the Tier 1 route made donations to UK charities.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study