THE European Commission (EC) has said that member states offering passports and citizenship to wealthy foreigners under so-called ‘Golden Visa’ schemes are encouraging an influx of criminal applicants.
The EC’s report on the schemes stated that they could encourage money laundering, corruption, tax evasion and pose security risks. Spain is among the EU countries that issues Golden Visas.
Vera Jourova, the EC’S Justice Commissioner, said the bloc wanted to see more transparency from countries that have launched such schemes.
“There should be no weak link in the EU, where could shop around for the most lenient scheme,” Jourova said.
Dimitris Avrampoloulos, the EC’s Migration and Citizenship Commissioner, said that legally living in the EU came with rights and privileges that should not be abused.
Britain, France, Ireland and Portugal are also among the EU member states that have adopted Golden Visa schemes.