Latvia Terminates Its Golden Visa Program

Last week, the immigration by investment world was met with terrible news. Authorities in Latvia have decided to abolish their Golden Visa Program after the latter has often been in the spotlight for being involved in many unlawful affairs.

The decision has been confirmed by the country’s Prime Minister, Krišjānis Kariņš while he stressed that the Ministry of the Interior is drafting necessary legislative amendments.

Through the Golden Visa Program, wealthy internationals were eligible to acquire residency in Latvia if they met specific requirements and made a specific amount of money in this country, such as buying expensive apartments and villas.

Jūris Pūce, chairman of Development for a political group in the Saeima, has emphasized that the ban on the Citizenship by Investment scheme in this way would apply to citizens of Russia and Belarus.

Pūce has said that a legal regulation regarding the issue will be prepared in the following days and put before the relevant Saeima committee, whose members will decide on it on Wednesday. Then, lawmakers will review the matter at a Saeima plenary.

The Citizenship by Investment Program has significantly helped the economy of European countries that run such schemes.

According to a recent analytic tool called the Best Investment Migration Real Estate Index, which Henley and Partners conducted, together with Deep Knowledge Analytics, Spain, Montenegro, Turkey, Portugal as well as Greece have been ranked as the best countries in Europe for real estate investments for residence and also citizenship rights.

However, the Golden Visa Program that is run in several European countries has often been considered as an open door to money laundering and other unlawful affairs.

In addition, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs of the EU Parliament previously urged the Member States to impose stricter conditions under which they issue golden visas to third-country citizens.

“Noting the difference in the severity of the risks posed by ‘residence by investment’ schemes -that give foreigners residence rights in exchange for a financial contribution-, the draft report asks for common EU rules to harmonize standards and strengthen the fight against money laundering, corruption, and tax evasion,” a press release of the EU Parliament revealed.

The sanctions imposed by European countries on Russia, which have been considered among the harshest in recent years, have reinforced the desire to terminate such schemes in European countries.

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine other European countries have already suspended the Golden Visa Program for Russian citizens, including here the Czech Republic, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Malta, and Spain.

This is a sad turn of events but do not feel discouraged as there are many more countries with Golden Visa opportunities to choose from such as Portugal and Greece.

Join our Portugal Golden Visa webinar on April 22nd, 2022 to know more. Register at https://cutt.ly/0DPui2v

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