Roman Abramovich becomes Israeli citizen after United Kingdom delays visa renewal

Adjust Comment Print

Abramovich was able to obtain citizenship under the Law of Return, which allows Jews to become citizens of Israel, according to the Times of Israel.

The UK said this month it would review long-term visas of wealthy Russians after the poisoning.

Worth an estimated £9.3 billion, according to the Sunday Times, Abramovich would become the richest person in Israel and would be exempt from the country's taxes on income earned overseas for 10 years, as well as not being required to declare the source of that income.

Britain has said it would take a tougher approach on Russian oligarchs in the country after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March.

Joe Skipper  Reuters                   Abramovich's little boat
Joe Skipper Reuters Abramovich's little boat

Abramovich would have to explain the source of his wealth to receive a new British visa, according to reports. His investor's visa to Britain has expired.

The Russian billionaire has found a short-term solution to the problem by applying for Israeli citizenship, which will allow him into the United Kingdom for a "short stay" of six months or less. Abramovich's visa is taking "longer than usual" to be renewed and both the British government and Abramovich have declined to comment on the impasse. He has been a frequent visitor to Israel and in 2015 bought a hotel in Tel Aviv that he has reportedly now turned into a residence.

As a new citizen, Abramovich is exempt from taxes in Israel for 10 years, and need not declare the sources of his income for that period.

The Russian foreign ministry had criticised the British government over the delays in his visa application process, saying: "It's obvious that, for the British government, both visas and the regulation of the media sphere are instruments of politics".

Abortion referendum to test hearts and minds in a changed Ireland
If you're Irish, on the electoral register and have been living away for less than 18 months, then please come home and say Yes. The unborn life either has value or it does not and May 25th is our chance to have a say in a defining moment for our country.