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Citizenship-for-Sale Schemes in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta

Andrej Privara

Abstract

Citizenship-for-sale schemes aimed at attracting wealthy and mobile individuals, so-called “high net worth individuals” (HNWIs) whose net assets are of US$1 million or more. A growing number of governments now seek to attract this category of migrants with abundant wealth. Many large and small states introduced various programmes and schemes to attract foreign investors. However, the European Commission has many concerns about these schemes regarding national security risks, ethics of nationality and can possible economic distortions. In a resolution adopted in January 2014, the European Parliament expressed its concern that the “outright sale of EU citizenship undermines the mutual trust upon which the Union is built”. It maintained that “EU citizenship implies the holding of a stake in the Union” and this “should never become a tradeable commodity”. This article explores citizenship for sale schemes in three new member states that joined the EU in 2004-2007 pointing out key areas of concern in the implementation of citizenship-for-sale schemes in the cases of Cyprus, Malta, and Bulgaria.

Keywords

citizenship-for-sale scheme; residence; citizenship; high net worth individuals; business; Cyprus; Malta; Bulgaria

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References

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