The two EU candidate countries, Montenegro and Macedonia, sell dozens of passports
Both candidate EU member states, Montenegro and North Macedonia, issued more than 100 passports to foreign investors in 2020. In Montenegro, there are 109 people (37 investors and 72 family members), while in Macedonia 103 people have obtained Passport thanks to investments. This is evidenced by European Commission documents, reported by NOS on Wednesday. The passport trade is controversial, because wealthy people from Russia, China and Saudi Arabia can easily access the Schengen area in this way. If they have a Montenegro or North Macedonia passport, they will no longer need to apply for a visa to travel.
The European Union is trying Citizen by InvestmentThe organization of the current member states. Malta and Cyprus were officially asked in October 2020 to stop selling passports to wealthy investors. Cyprus decided to end pending applications and not process any new applications, while Malta tightened the plan. Similarly, major investors are now required to live in Malta for one to three years to obtain the passport, depending on the amount they invest. In the eyes of the European Commission, this is not enough. In June, the commission announced legal action against the country.
Wealthy investors are regularly assisted in applying for their passports through consulting firms that specialize in such investments. British company Henley & Partners announced on Tuesday that it has submitted its 100th application for a Montenegrin passport. The country has set itself the goal of joining the European Union by 2024. The candidate countries to join the European Union, North Macedonia and Albania have also started talks to join the European Union, after the Netherlands, among other countries, was one of the last to stop resisting last year.
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