The EU commission has warned its member-states that the ”golden visa” program used by the UK and some other countries to attract high net-worth investors has opened the gateway to organized crime and corruption in Europe.
The EU plans to publish a report on Wednesday that will illustrate the fact that issuing these “golden visas” in exchange for investment is putting Europe’s security in jeopardy. Since the past ten years, EU countries have had up to £22billion pumped into their economy as foreign investment from this visa scheme. This visa program is valid in the UK, Malta, Bulgaria, and Cyprus and has given wealthy investors the opportunity to utilize the free movement policy of the European Union.
After the poisoning of a spy, Sergei Skripal, who was a former spy in the UK, Britain’s Home Office decided to review the 700 of these visas granted to Russian nationals.
Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Malta have citizenship packages they offer super-rich foreigners in exchange for investment in their respective countries. These packages range from somewhere around £800,000 to £1.6million.
About 20 other countries in the EU also offer similar visa schemes but only in exchange for residency.
Will the UK suspend its “golden visa” scheme?
The UK government had in December last year, made known its intention to suspend their Tier 1 visa which gives foreign investors a simplified process to settle in the UK in exchange for investing in the millions into the UK economy.
A spokesman of the UK Home Office revealed that although the Tier 1 visa remains unsuspended, the government is resolute to reforming its terms and guidelines and that an announcement will be made soon in this regard.
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