He shelved plans to build a new football stadium following an extended delay to his Tier 1 Investor visa application.
Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth said Abramovich’s border treatment was “symptomatic of a wider crackdown”.
“It should come as no surprise that we’re beginning to see delays in renewing Tier 1 Investor visas,” said Mandeep Khroud, senior associate solicitor.
“Brexit works both ways. The UK voted for more control over immigration, and that applies to high net worth foreign investors as well as the headline-grabbing migrant population the media focuses on.
“Lately we have been receiving enquiries from these investors who want advice on what to do now that their business interests are being looked at with much more scrutiny than before.”
On the 28 March 2018, the UK Home Office confirmed it was conducting a review of visas issued to foreign investors from 2008 to 2015, affecting thousands of high net worth individuals who currently reside or have business interests in the UK.
According to Irwin Mitchell, most Tier 1 Investor visas are issued to Russians and Chinese, who are required to invest a minimum of £2m ($2.6m, €2.27m) in funds in the UK economy.
But the Abramovich case could have unintended ramifications for the UK economy.
Tier 1 Investor visas provide a lucrative flow of investment funding for UK businesses, if difficulties were to arise in renewing or applying for visas, the country could see a downturn in applications.
“It’s entirely possible that our economy will suffer as a result of this,” Khroud added. “Less foreign investment into the UK would result in reduced inward investment and as a consequence impact the UK’s ability to compete as a major player in the world economy.
“Visa renewals can be extremely complicated if there are multiple assets and corporate structures involved, so it’s important to get the application correct from the start. With Brexit making life even more difficult for them, foreign investors may just decide not to bother in the future.”