EU getting ready to crack down on disputed 'golden passport' scheme

Protesters demonstrating against corruption outside the Filoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Oct 14, 2020. PHOTO: AFP
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For Malta, issuing passports has become a gold mine. The small island in the Mediterranean raked in between €1 billion (S$1.6 billion) and €1.5 billion over the past six years by selling Maltese citizenship to those who would have it.

While the 500,000-resident island may not be the most attractive place to spend the rest of your life, bearing a Maltese passport might be worth it. Maltese citizens enjoy the numerous advantages of belonging to the European Union like visa-free travel in the Schengen Area, freedom of movement, and permission to work in any of the 27 member states of the EU.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2021, with the headline EU getting ready to crack down on disputed 'golden passport' scheme. Subscribe