In financially troubled Hungary, members of the ruling Fidesz party are calling for their parliament to allow non-EU nationals to “purchase” permanent residency in exchange for 250,000 euros worth of special government bonds.
The proposal is currently under consideration and looks set to be passed to become law very soon. The move is aimed at potential wealthy investors, especially in China. The investment in government bonds would eventually lead to a Hungarian passport giving the investor access to the entire EU.
Hungary currently has billions of euros in debt and experts warn that the government could be bankrupt by the end of the year. Hungary has asked the EU and International Montery Fund for help but analyst only see a 50% chance to a deal occurring do to different opinions over spending cuts. Therefore, Hungary needs to find new ways to refinance its maturing debt. The selling of government bonds is certainly one way to do this.
Hungarian permanent residents are permitted to reside in Hungary for an indefinite period of time. They enjoy the same benefits in Hungary as citizens do, including eligibility for Hungarian health care, public schooling, employment and welfare, and they receive a Hungarian ID card. Hungarian permanent residents can travel visa-free to any Schengen country for a maximum of up to 90 days.
János Tamás Varga, Managing Partner of VJT & Partners, commented: “We have not previously had such a seismic change to Hungary’s immigration regulations. There is already clear evidence that real interest exists from international investors. The proposed terms are very attractive compared to other EU countries, which will, I am sure, be advantageous to Hungary.”