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 Peddling passports infographic
Graphic shows costs of golden passports around Europe.


Peddling passports for European citizenship

By Duncan Mil

March 15, 2022 - Over the past decade, as many as 4,000 Russians obtained so-called “golden visas” in EU member states by investing more than €3 billion in property, government bonds or other assets.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, and Portugal have halted their “citizenship-residence by investment” schemes.

In February, Britain axed its Tier 1 Investor visa scheme, which allowed fast-track residence status in return for £2 million.

“I have zero tolerance for abuse of our immigration system,” Priti Patel, British Home Secretary, said. Patel described “corrupt elites who threaten our national security and push dirty money around our cities.”

Between 2008 and 2020, Britain issued 2,581 visas to Russian citizens.

Oligarchs can buy golden visas for as little as €127,000 in Bulgaria to as much as €1.2 million in the Netherlands.

Spain, which supplies passports for a minimum payment of €500,000, granted 14 golden visas to Russians in January. Cyprus’ government terminated its much-criticized golden visa scheme in 2020.

PUBLISHED: 15/03/2022; STORY: Graphic News