Roman Abramovich gains Israeli citizenship allowing him into UK for 6 months a year but banned from working for Chelsea FC whilst in UK

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich will be allowed to visit Britain for up to six months at a time after gaining Israeli citizenship however immigration rules ban him from working for Chelsea FC while in the UK.

The Russian billionaire made the move to become an Israeli citizen after the renewal of his British visa was hit by a delay.

Downing Street declined to comment on the specifics of the 51-year-old tycoon’s case – but a spokesman for Theresa May confirmed holders of Israeli passports are allowed to visit Britain for up to six months under a waiver scheme.

Under the rules, Israeli visitors are not allowed to work or live in Britain. Immigration enforcement officers police the rules and could act if Mr Abramovich was known to be working at Stamford Bridge or engaging in activity to run Chelsea while in the UK.

This morning, the Kremlin said Mr Abramovich has the right to Israeli citizenship after the Chelsea football club owner reportedly travelled to Israel and became a citizen after delays to his British visa application.

‘The Kremlin doesn’t think anything about this,’ presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in response to a question on the reported move by Abramovich, a former regional governor seen as being on good terms with President Vladimir Putin.

‘An entrepreneur receives Israeli citizenship. So what? It’s his right,’ Peskov said of Abramovich, who is Jewish.

Abramovich, who was reportedly in Russia in recent days, flew into Tel Aviv on a private jet and received an Israeli identity card, local Channel 10 television reported.