EU Passports By Way Of Investment

EU Passports By Way Of Investment

Over the years thousands of people have obtained EU nationality by way of investment in order to access the Schengen area. These schemes have made headlines again as the RBK news agency of Moscow recently reported that Maltese authorities had named 700 Russians (and their family members) on a list of people granted citizenship in 2016.

In order to obtain Maltese nationality, applicants for the programme must “contribute” €650,000 and buy property for €350,000 or rent a property for at least €16,000 a month for five years. They must also invest €150,000 in stocks or bonds and pay other fees. Spouses and dependants can be added for €25,000 to €50,000.

The Maltese authorities have said the programme has made a significant contribution to the economy and this is why it had been put into place. Malta Today said critics argued that the government was “prostituting the country for a measly sum” and said citizenship should not be for sale.

Cyprus and Bulgaria have similar schemes in the EU. Britain does not offer immediate citizenship, although it has the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category, under which individuals are required to invest a minimum of £2 million in Home Office authorised investments. This route enables individuals to bring family members with them to the UK as their dependants, giving them the right to work and study in the UK.

The current cost of EU passports: 
Malta €650,000 (£575,321) to Development and Social Fund and €350,000 in property.
Cyprus €2m investment in property or €2.5m in companies or government bonds and at least one visit every seven years.
Bulgaria £907,000 in government bonds over two years. Passport applicable at end of second year.
Portugal €500,000 in property, seven days a year residency, a six-year wait then a language test before applying for a passport.

If you would like more information regarding your eligibility for Tier 1 (Investor) status in the United Kingdom, or further information on EU investment schemes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Discreet Law accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Discreet Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Discreet Law.

©Discreet Law 2018