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Ban golden passports & regulate golden visas

Ban golden passports & regulate golden visas


MEPs want common EU rules on golden visas to fight money laundering and corruption.

No passports, no visas for Russian oligarchs

Parliament welcomes the commitment of the relevant Member States to limit the sale of citizenship to Russians with ties to the Russian government and calls on all CBI and RBI schemes in the EU to exclude Russian applicants with immediate effect. MEPs are calling on EU governments to review all approved applications over the past few years and ensure that “no Russian citizen with financial, business or other ties to the Putin regime retains their citizenship and residency rights.” In addition, they call on the Commission to ban Russian citizens subject to EU sanctions from participating in all RBI schemes.

Fragmented system and the role of intermediaries

MEPs deplore the lack of comprehensive security checks and screening procedures in both types of schemes, adding that it should not be possible to submit consecutive applications in different Member States. Member States should not rely on audits by non-State actors. The Parliament calls on the EU to charge a significant percentage of the investments made – until golden passports are abolished, and indefinitely for golden visas. He also asks the Commission to put pressure on third countries that enjoy visa-free travel to the EU to follow suit.Noting that the intermediaries in these schemes are non-transparent and not accountable, Parliament calls for a ban on their participation in the CBI and “strict and mandatory regulation” of their role in the RBI, which should include sanctions.

Sofia in ‘t Veld (Renew, The Netherlands) commented: “These schemes only serve to provide a back door to the EU for dubious individuals who cannot enter in broad daylight. It’s time to close that door so that Russian oligarchs and other people with dirty money don’t enter. Member state governments have refused to address the issue, arguing that it is not an EU issue. Given what is currently happening, they can no longer shy away from this issue.”

The Commission must prepare a legislative proposal or justify its decision not to do so.

History of golden passports and visas

At least 130,000 people benefited from CBI/RBI schemes in the EU from 2011 to 2019, generating more than €21.8 billion in revenue for the countries concerned.

CBI schemes exist in Malta, Bulgaria (where the government has submitted a bill to terminate the scheme) and Cyprus (where only applications submitted before November 2020 are processed, all of which, according to the Cypriot government, have already been considered).

Twelve Member States have RBI schemes based on different investment amounts and options.

Source and photo:, Editor

Latest Cyprus News

Ban golden passports & regulate golden visas

Ban golden passports & regulate golden visas


Golden Passports are “ethically, legally and economically unacceptable and pose several serious security risks.”

EU tax on golden visas

Concerned that EU citizenship is being sold, Parliament is proposing new common rules to address many of the problems associated with citizenship/residence by investment schemes.

On Wednesday, MEPs adopted a report on legislative initiative, urging the Commission to submit a proposal before the end of its term. A commitment by the Commission of France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States to restrict wealthy government-connected Russians from accessing “golden passports” was raised in Monday’s plenary debate. The text was adopted by 595 votes to 12, with 74 abstentions.

Ban Golden Passports…

Parliament stresses that citizenship by investment (CBI) schemes, under which third-country nationals obtain citizenship rights in exchange for a certain amount of money, undermine the essence of EU citizenship.

Parliament describes the practice in Malta, Bulgaria and Cyprus where member states sell what was never intended to be commodified.

Applications are being accepted even when requirements are not met, MEPs say, and require the schemes to be phased out because of the risks they pose.

…and regulate golden visas

Noting the lesser risks associated with RBI schemes, Parliament is asking for EU rules to help fight money laundering, corruption and tax evasion, including:

• stringent background checks (including applicants’ family members and funding sources), mandatory checks against EU databases and third country verification procedures;

• reporting obligations for Member States, including a “notice and consultation” scheme allowing other Member States to object;

• requirements for minimum physical residence (for applicants) and active participation, quality, value added and contribution to the economy (for their investments).

Source and photo:, Editor

Latest Cyprus News


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