Citizenship and residence by investment schemes

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Series Details 2021/2026(INL)
Publication Date 2021-2022
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Report published by the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, comprising a number of proposals on the citizenship and residence by investment schemes.

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Several Member States operate citizenship by investment (CBI) and residence by investment (RBI) schemes that confer citizenship or resident status on third-country nationals in exchange for primarily financial considerations in the form of ‘passive’ capital investments. Such CBI/RBI schemes are characterised by having minimal to no physical presence requirements and offering a ‘fast track’ to residency or citizenship status in a Member State compared to conventional channels.

The set of measures put forward within the report leads to the phasing out of golden passports, and it regulates RBI schemes, also known as golden visas, to that they will lose their attractiveness to crooks. The measures address different aspects of the matter: screening of the applicants, residency requirements, the type of investment, risks of money laundering and tax evasion. It also foresees for the proceeds of the sale of citizenship and residency rights to benefit the EU budget, given that they are based exclusively on the benefits of EU membership. The report states that schemes granting nationality on the basis of a financial investment (CBI schemes), also known as golden passports, are objectionable from an ethical, legal and economic point of view and pose several serious security risks for EU citizens.

The report was adopted by the plenary of the European Parliament on 9 March 2022.

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Commentary and Analysis
Transparency International: Press, 10/03/2022: Curbing corrupt abuse of EU golden passports & visas: European Commission must heed Parliament's proposals

EUObserver, 07/03/2022: Ban on golden passports seen gaining ground amid Russia war
Reuters, 08/03/2022: EU lawmakers to push for ban on new 'golden passports', visas for Russians
Deutsche Welle, 09/03/2022: EU parliament demands end to 'golden passports' for Russians
Bloomberg, 09/03/2022: EU Targets Golden Visas in Clampdown on Dirty Money
Euronews, 09/03/2022: MEPs will vote on banning 'golden passports' to hurt Putin allies
The Local (Italy), 10/03/2022: ‘Shady characters’: Will EU countries now put an end to ‘golden passport’ schemes?

European Parliament: Press Release, 15/02/2022: MEPs call for a ban on ‘golden passports’ and EU rules for ‘golden visas’
Renew Europe EP Group: Newsroom, 08/03/2022: Renew Europe calls for ban on 'golden passports', EU rules for 'golden visas' and action against Russian applicants
European Parliament: Press Release, 09/03/2022: MEPs demand a ban on ‘golden passports’ and specific rules for ‘golden visas’

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