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Golden visa programmes to be scrapped by these European countries

Golden visa programmes offer residency permits and EU travel access in exchange for investment, but can pose risks such as money laundering and inflation of real estate prices. Despite concerns, variations of the golden visa have been adopted across Europe and in countries around the world — from the U.S. and Canada to Spain and Greece.

Why is Portugal scrapping the programme?

Prime Minister Antonio Costa has announced that the country will end its golden visa program for new foreign property buyers in an effort to address the lack of affordable housing in the country. 

The program was originally introduced a decade ago for non-European Union nationals as part of an effort to fix the country’s public finances after a 2011 bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund. Since then, the country has raised €6.8 billion, with 90% of that money going into real estate. 

However, in recent years, concerns have been raised about real estate speculation and the impact of the program on affordable housing. 

Under the new rule, foreign real estate buyers who wish to renew their existing golden visas will only be eligible if their properties are used as their own home, or if these units are placed in the long-term rental market. 

Why Ireland is suspending golden visas?

Ireland has decided to close its Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the “golden visa” program, following a review of its appropriateness. A review on this matter found that the program did not meet the government’s policy objectives, and that there were concerns about its transparency, governance, and potential for abuse.

“It is important that we keep all programs under review including any implications for wider public policy, such as the continuing appropriateness and suitability of this program for cultural, social and economic use,” Justice Minister Simon Harris said.

As of February 15, 2023, applications for the visas will no longer be accepted. The government, however, stated that it will work to develop alternative immigration schemes that are more in line with its policy objectives.

This program was introduced in 2012 for non-EU nationals with a personal wealth of at least €2 million ($2.1 million), and it allowed them to secure immigration permission on the basis of long-term investment in a range of options.

Source: Live Mint