The EU Commission is reported to have warned its members that the “Gold visa” programmes, which allow member states to grant citizenship or residence permits in return for investment, constitute a security threat.
The Commission issued a report on referred programmes drawing attention that they increase prospects of infiltration of criminal organizations into the EU, money laundering, corruption, tax evasion and security risks.
In the report which stated that Citizenship programmes implemented by Bulgaria, Malta and the Greek Cypriot Administration provided EU citizenship it was explained that those who used said program acquired citizenship rights even though they did not live in the EU. In fact some countries such as United Kingdom have decided to suspend 'Golden Visa' to combat money laundering.
The report also emphasized that the security controls applied to golden visa applicants were not carried out sound enough and that the member countries should cooperate more and increase the audits in this field. Within this framework the members were required to share more information as to who applied to these programmes, how much money was collected, and who provided citizenship etc.
The commission stated in the report that it would follow the compliance of these practices with the Union law and would take the necessary measures and establish an expert group to improve transparency, management and security of the program with the participation of member countries.
Turkey is also among countries providing citizenship to foreigners in return for quite affordable investment schemes. A foreign individual can get hold of a Turkish passport in three years, providing he invests a minimum amount of US$ 250,000 in property in Turkey. In fact Turkish citizenship is observed to have attracted great interest from foreigners especially since the regulation was changed in their favor in 2018.
For more information on how to get Turkish Citizenship by investment click here