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EU citizenship by investment regulations

New EU Regulation Imminent

August 2018: Tougher Standards On The Horizon

In recent interviews with the “Financial Times” and Germany’s “Die Welt”, the EU’s commissioner for justice, Vera Jourova, announced tougher measures on immigration by investment programs that allow wealthy individuals to obtain residency and/or citizenship in the European Union. Referring to these immigration by investment programs as “potential security risks”, the commissioner has announced she will seek stricter rules to regulate EU member states that currently offer such programs. The European Commission, she said, would propose a new system that would make immigration by investment more difficult by raising the hurdles required to be cleared by anyone seeking EU residency or citizenship.

Brussels is preparing to crack down on EU governments.

This announcement comes on the heels of the changes implemented by Cyprus just a few weeks ago (discussed in our previous newsletter). As previously reported, Cyprus revised its citizenship by investment program by prolonging application processing from previously 90 days to 180 days while at the same time implementing an annual cap on the number of applications accepted.

The backdrop for the commissioner’s new statement is the increasing popularity of investment immigration programs designed to attract High Net Worth Individuals, including entrepreneurs, business owners, VIP’s and other wealthy individuals. The goal of these programs is to bring economic investment into the country in return for residency or citizenship (the EU passport) – the latter of which allows the successful applicant to essentially settle in any EU member country.

The EU’s principle of “Freedom of Movement” allows a citizen of Malta, for example, to move and live in Germany. And Malta citizenship can (still) be obtained with an investment of well under EUR 1 million.

Is the window for immigration by investment closing?

While acknowledging that naturalization policy is a sovereign matter controlled by each member state, the commissioner noted she has tools at her disposal with which to “encourage” certain governments to tighten acceptance criteria and due diligence procedures.

We expect special attention will be paid to countries where currently citizenship can be obtained within a relatively short time frame, such as Cyprus (6 months) and Malta (6 - 18 months). However, applications started before any new measures take effect are expected to be processed under the current, less stringent application procedures. In our opinion the message is clear; if you are ready, the time is now.

Because immigration by investment programs can change over time please contact us to speak with an advisor or to receive a preliminary quotation. The information provided in this blog post is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice.

Click here for the Malta citizenship by investment program. Click here for the Malta residency programs.

To start the application process online please register here.

For a detailed cost estimate or to schedule a confidential consultation please use our contact form.

Zenturo Ltd.

Residency & Citizenship by Investment Programs Worldwide

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Santa Venera, SVR 1016

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