Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich seeking Israeli citizenship amid United Kingdom visa delay

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich, who now holds an Israeli passport, will be allowed to visit the United Kingdom for up to half a year, but will have to apply for a work permit to be able to do business there, a spokesperson for the British government said.

An Israeli passport will allow Abramovich to enter Britain for up to six months, but he won't be able to work there without first receiving a work visa.

In a statement, the club said that "No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur" and that the decision was made due to the current unfavorable investment climate. States policy is to align Jersey's visa regime with that of the UK.

Having amassed a huge and controversial personal fortune through dealings in the Russian oil industry in the 1990s, Abramovich acquired Chelsea in June 2003 and has invested well in excess of £1 billion in the club, bankrolling a 15-year run that has brought 15 major trophies to Stamford Bridge. This means that he should have no problem traveling there on his Israeli passport.

Mr Abramovich's spokesman John Mann refused to comment, saying it was a personal matter.

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The UK said this month it would review long-term visas of wealthy Russians after the poisoning. However how the new process will look and for how long there will be delays in issuing visas is not known.

A Jew entitled to Israeli citizenship by law, Abramovich is now a permanent Israeli resident.

Spokesmen for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office contacted by AFP did not confirm or deny the report.

According to Forbes, Abramovich, at the age of 51, retains a net value of $9.1 billion and was ranked as the 139th richest person in the world and 12th richest person in Russian Federation in 2017. Abramovich is also the chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, a trustee of the Moscow Jewish Museum and a backer of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Russia.

Abramovich's business ventures include Millhouse Capital, Evraz (a coal and steel mining company) and Nornickel (a nickel and palladium mining and smelting company).

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