Cash-for-residency: European Commission needs to ensure proper oversight of golden visas

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Following various scandals involving the selling of citizenship or residency in EU countries, the European Parliament today debated the issue of so-called ‘Golden Visas’.
 
Ahead of the debate S&D Group Spokesperson for civil liberties, justice, and home affairs, Birgit Sippel said:
 
“In one form or another 13 EU countries offer some form of golden visa – granting permanent residence or citizenship to individuals who invest a large sum of money in their country. This type of cash-for passport or residency scheme has consequences for the whole EU – as these new citizens or residents gain the right of freedom of movement. As various scandals over the last few years show, often there is little scrutiny of the origin of beneficiaries’ wealth.
 
“There is also an irony that countries like Hungary, who have been the most vocally anti-migrant, have been some of the largest users of these golden visa schemes, creating the sense there is one rule for the rich and a different one for everyone else.
 
“This is an EU wide issue and we need an EU wide response. We want the European Commission to monitor how countries are using these golden visa schemes and ensure that we are not providing an easy back door in the EU for dodgy money and dodgy characters.”

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