Hungary Restarting 'Golden Visa' Program

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Hungary will offer a residency permit for those who purchase expensive property in the European Union nation six years after corruption allegations led authorities to shut a similar "golden visa" program, according to Bloomberg News.

The "guest investor program" allows those who invest at least EUR 250,000 (USD 271,000) in local property funds or EUR 500,000 in Hungarian real estate the right to apply for a 10-year, renewable residency permit in Hungary, according to legislation filed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's government.

Donations worth at least EUR 1 million to so-called public trusts, which the government set up to oversee universities, will also be eligible.

Hungary shut down a similar program in 2017. That one granted residency and unfettered travel in the EU to buyers of EUR 300,000 of government bonds.

According to SchengenVisaInfo.comThe scheme brought EUR 1.4 billion from 2013 until 2017, with a total of 3,649 approved temporary residence permits based on figures from the EU Commission on investor residence programs.

For a period from 2013 until 2017, a total of 6,621 requests for residence by investors were received by authorities in Hungary.

Of the total, 4,794 applicants were granted permanent residence permits, and 1,827 applications were refused or turned down.

The program led to a surge in migration from China and Russia. It was closed following media reports of alleged corruption and lax vetting of applicants, which may have allowed spies to enter the EU.

 

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