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Dutch RBI scheme to be evaluated as part of broader migration policy in the Netherlands

Updated: Apr 14, 2019

In reply to parliamentary questions posed shortly after the publication of the European Commission report Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes in the European Union, published on 23 January 2019, the Dutch government admits that it is aware of the existence of the report and that the European Commission warns against increasing criminality caused by the grant of passports to wealthy investors.

The government recognises that this can be a problem if the individual EU member states do not sufficiently scrutinise the grant of ‘golden passports’ or ‘golden visas’ for possible violation of the public order and national security. According to the government, the risk of money laundering and tax evasion is considerably reduced under the Dutch scheme that has been in existence since 2013 because any application needs to be submitted to the Financial Intelligence Unit in both the Netherlands and the investor’s country of origin. In response to the question whether it is fair that investors are exempt from a number of ordinary integration requirements, the government replies that certain third country nationals, including investors, can be admitted to the Netherlands for their added value to the Dutch economy and/or society. This justifies their exemption from certain requirements.

In relation to investment schemes, the government also wishes to stress the difference between residence permits and passports. Accepting that it is for each state to decide on its own citizenship legislation as long as its rules are in line with international law, the government nonetheless emphasizes that ‘in the Netherlands citizenship is not something that can be bought’. The grant of residence permits is different and can be justified if the presence of the foreigner is of added value to the Netherlands.

The Dutch investment scheme is currently being evaluated as part of the Dutch migration policy in a broad sense. The results are expected in the second quarter of 2019. As the European Commission has indicated to monitor the European investor schemes and to set up an expert group, the government plans to participate in discussions on this subject on the European level.

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