Recommendation on immediate steps in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in relation to investor citizenship schemes and investor residence schemes

Author (Corporate)
Series Details C (2022) 2028
Publication Date 28/03/2022
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Recommendation adopted by the European Commission on 28 March 2022, addressing the existing golden passports and golden residence permits schemes across the European Union (EU), in the framework of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Further information:

Investor citizenship schemes allow a person to obtain nationality based on a significant payment or investment. Investor residence schemes allow non-EU nationals to obtain a residence permit to live in an EU country in exchange for a payment or an investment. In 2019, the European Commission issued a report on investor citizenship and residence schemes operated by a number of EU Member States, which mapped the existing practices and identified certain risks such schemes imply for the EU, in particular, as regards security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption.

This Recommendation urges Member States to immediately repeal any existing investor citizenship schemes and to ensure strong checks are in place to address the risks posed by investor residence schemes. It forms part of the Commission's broader policy to take action on these schemes, whose risks were highlighted by the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Commission also recommends that Member States assess whether citizenship granted under a golden passport scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals on an EU sanctions list in connection to the war in Ukraine should be withdrawn.

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Related Links
Reuters, 28/03/2022: EU seeks end to golden passport schemes, halt to sales of visas to Russians
Associated Press, 28/03/2022: EU wants to end golden passport schemes, targets Russians
EurActiv, 28/03/2022: Brussels wants sanctioned Russians stripped of ‘golden passports’
Emerging Europe, 28/03/2022: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spurs new EU crackdown on ‘golden passport’ schemes
RTÉ News, 28/03/2022: Call for sanctioned Russians to be stripped of 'golden passports'
Malta Today, 28/03/2022: Brussels tells Malta to withdraw Russian golden passports over any links to Ukraine war

European Commission: Press Release, 28/03/2022: Commission urges Member States to act on ‘golden passports' and ‘golden residence permits' schemes, and to take immediate steps in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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