According to new reports, Golden Visa programs in the EU may soon be on their way out. Rumors indicate that newer and improved programs will soon replace them. The vote in favor of adopting the TAX3 Committee’s February report titled “Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance”, which aims to gradually phase out citizenship and resident status via investment, has been significant.
Needless to say, the European Commission has been gung-ho about making changes since then.
The first meeting involving the Group of EU Member State experts on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes took place in the first week of April in Brussels. The group was chaired by Irena Moozova – the Director of the European Commission – who is now responsible for developing risk management processes and security checks in less than a year.
The move towards eliminating such investment groups is a result of persistent lobbying from various fronts, especially the OECD and the OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project).
It is predicted that the special commission’s new rules will essentially make the Golden Visa application and approval process very complicated. The stringent checks and verification processes may even extend to the renewal process. In other words, Golden Visa programs will start to lose their appeal in a significant manner, eventually becoming unviable.
The current trend in EU is to establish programs that can provide sustainable and instant economic benefits to the various local actors involved. Countries like the Netherlands and Australia already do this by offering structured “Startup Visa” programs that reward entrepreneurs with unique and viable business ideas.
These countries also offer visa programs that demand massive capital outlay and provable links for job creation.
Portugal has also come forward with the unique Green Visa that encourages investment in green technology. The country also offers a pilot Angel Visa program for those looking for low capital outlay and reduced time commitment.
Programs like these may soon be formalized and serve as templates for visa programs across the EU.