Under new Government plans, wealthy investors ploughing millions into the country, will be fast-tracked to permanent residency in the UK.

The new plans would see investors, spending more than £10 million, qualifying in two years, rather than the current minimum of five years. Those investing £5 million would qualify for permanent residence in three years and for those ploughing in £1 million, it would take five years. The aim of the Government's changes is to encourage more investment in the UK. However, once individuals are made residents, investors are free to withdraw this investment at any time. The Government will also reduce the number of months those seeking residency have to remain in the UK from nine to six.

As a result of the Government's cap on non-EU migrants, the number of skilled workers businesses will be able to bring into the UK will be cut by one-fifth from last year's levels. 'High-net-worth individuals' and entrepreneurs will be exempt from the cap, however, which comes into force in April 2011.

The new proposals have not yet been approved by Parliament.