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European Golden Visa programs attacked in the EP

Golden Visa programs around the world provide an attractive opportunity to obtain residency or citizenship in a given country in exchange for an investment. This investment can take various forms, from creating / supporting local business to purchasing government bonds. Now, on 30 May the European Parliament debated the controversies of the European Golden Visa programs.

Golden Visa programs and their controversies

The basis of each golden visa program is a significant investment in a given country that is treated as a matter of national interest. One of the most prevalent criticism is that this is not a genuine link between the investor and the member state, especially as investors are often not required to physically move to the country granting them residency or citizenship.

Another important concern is that golden visa programs are often merely viewed as “cash-for-passport schemes”, and create a double standard, where workers arriving in the EU are treated with utmost scrutiny, while investors can enjoy a quicker, and generally more lenient procedure. As such, these programs are said to be prone to giving rise to corruption and crime.

Harmonized regulations and more transparency

While some MEPs defended their respective Golden Visa schemes stating that applicants are subject to strict due diligence processes, there seemed to be an agreement that in order to prevent the dilution of the values of European citizenship, harmonized regulations and more transparency is necessary: it is not enough the regulate the matter on a national level.

Hungarian investment residency

Hungary does not currently have an official investment residency program available (after the Hungarian Residency Bond program was suspended in April 2017). At the same time, investment immigration does exist, since you can easily become eligible for Hungarian residency if you operate a successful company – but since it is not special program backed by the state, just business as usual, any possible regulation of investment residency might not influence investment immigration to Hungary.

As a result, you can continue to take advantage for example of the Hungarian Real Estate Residence Program, where you set up a Hungarian company for property management, buy real estate, generate income from renting your property, and become eligible for Hungarian, and this way EU residency with your whole family.

Learn more about Real Estate Residency in Hungary

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