The legislative initiative was discussed in the plenary at the beginning of this week, and it sets a distinction between the two programs – golden visa and golden passports-, calling for action against the citizenship by investment visas – “golden passports”.
The parliamentarians argue that investment citizenship, known as “golden passports”, under which third-country nationals obtain citizenship rights in exchange for financial investment, “compromise the essence of EU citizenship”, mentioned the MEPs, alluding to the programs that still exist in Bulgaria, Malta, and Cyprus.
This legislative initiative report also calls for the creation of common rules at the EU level to harmonize the procedures relating to golden visas, which refer to a residence by investment as operated by Mercan Properties.
Specifically, for MEPs, before countries grant golden visas, they must carry out a rigorous background check of applicants (including their family members and sources of financial funds), create information reporting obligations and require minimum physical presence requirements and active participation, quality, added value and contribute to the economy, which corresponds exactly to our current program in Portugal.
The parliamentarians asked the European Commission to present, before the end of its current mandate, a legislative proposal related to all actions mentioned above. According to the European Parliament rules, even if approved, it will not automatically become law nor will force the European Commission or the European Council to advance with legislation.
We believe that the current legislative initiative will not have an impact on our current operations, namely in what is related to the residency permit obtained by the investment in the acquisition and rehabilitation of properties for commercial purposes.
On another note, with the current situation MEPs want EU countries to re-evaluate “all applications from Russian nationals approved in recent years” as stated in the report:
“23. Welcomes the commitment announced by the Member States to take measures to limit the sale of citizenship to Russians connected to the Russian government; calls upon all Member States to stop operating their CBI and RBI schemes for all Russian applicants with immediate effect; urges the Member States to reassess all approved applications from Russian nationals over the past few years, exploiting all possibilities under national and Union law to ensure that no Russian individual with financial, business or other links to the Putin regime retains his or her citizenship and residency rights or that such individuals are temporarily blocked from exercising those rights; calls on the Commission to verify such reassessments carried out by the Member States and to urgently present a legislative proposal to completely ban CBI schemes and to ban RBI schemes for Russian nationals subject to targeted measures”.
Mercan Properties will continue to follow-up on this matter and will update this announcement as soon additional information is made available.