The EU Commission issued new recommendations on March 28, 2022, regarding the future of investor citizenship programs, or “Golden Visas.”
The Commission has raised issues with the program and the associated risks in the past. The economic and mobility sanctions placed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine highlight the challenges of the program.
The EU Commission has recommended the following steps for the Member States:
- Terminate the visa program immediately. Such schemes are not compatible with the principle of sincere cooperation and with the concept of EU citizenship enshrined in the EU treaties.
- Suspend the issuance of residence permits under investor residence schemes to all Russian and Belarusian nationals.
- Withdraw or refuse the renewal of the residence permits granted under an investor residence scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals who are subject to EU sanctions in connection to the war in Ukraine, following an assessment.
- Determine whether citizenship previously granted to Russian or Belarusian nationals subject to sanctions or significantly supporting the war in Ukraine should be withdrawn.
- In the future, establish and conduct strict checks before issuing any residence permit by investment. Member States should take all necessary measures to prevent investor residence schemes from posing security, money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption risks.
The recommendation is exactly that. It is for the Member States to implement today’s recommendation. The Commission asks the Member States concerned to report on the implementation of the recommendation put forward today by the end of May, and keep the Commission regularly informed afterward.
Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.