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Abramovich’s Israeli move allows him to enter Jersey

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ROMAN Abramovich, the Russian billionaire with Jersey residency rights, can re-enter the UK – and therefore the Island – after gaining Israeli citizenship, it has emerged.

Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has received Israeli citizenship after his British visa was delayed. Picture: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Speculation had grown over whether the Chelsea FC owner would even be able to visit Jersey after it was revealed last week that the renewal of his UK visa had been delayed.

It is believed that he missed the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United due to the hold-up.

As he has Jewish heritage, Mr Abramovich has since been able to acquire Israeli citizenship, meaning he can now enter Britain on a visitor visa for six months. States policy is to align Jersey’s visa regime with that of the UK.

The JEP revealed earlier this year that Mr Abramovich had been granted residency rights in the Island under the 21E scheme for ‘High Value Residents’.

A spokesman for Jersey’s government said that ‘in general terms’ residency in the Island for non-EU citizens is ‘contingent on applicants having a UK visa’. They would not comment on an individual case, however.

The UK visa application process for Russia’s 11th wealthiest man had been taking longer than usual as diplomatic tensions between the UK and his homeland remain strained following the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, earlier his year.

It is understood that the British government is reviewing its policy towards the numerous wealthy Russians who have business and property interests in the UK.

Mr Abramovich is believed to have flown to Tel Aviv, where he owns a large property, on Monday and obtained documents confirming his status as an Israeli citizen.

The country’s interior ministry is reported to have confirmed Mr Abramovich has gained citizenship there, which makes him the Middle Eastern country’s richest man.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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