The decree on granting citizenship to investors was signed by President of Moldova Igor Dodon on 3 August 2020. The document came into force on 7 August 2020 after its publication.
The document shall not disclose the names of investors who will receive Moldovan passports. However, earlier the chairman of the National Security Commission, Alexander Zhizdan, stated that the names of the applicants for the citizenship programme for investments will be published in the Presidential Decree. When exactly this will happen is not yet announced.
Closing of the Moldova citizenship program
Earlier, we said that the law on Moldovan citizenship for investments will be repealed on September 1, 2020. Until then, they will take a decision on all the remaining applications.
As of June 2020, when the repeal of the law was announced, 25 applications from investors were still pending. They should be reviewed and decided before the program closes in order to avoid claims from licensed agents. As we can see, the work is underway – 6 applications from investors were approved.
Moldova’s Citizenship Programme has not accepted applications since August 2019, when a moratorium on the law was first introduced. It was extended in December 2019, just until September 1, 2020.
The Moldovan government expected that the citizenship programme would bring the country at least €1.3 billion within 5 years for investments. By August 2019, 97 passport applications had been submitted under it. The applicants are citizens of Russia, Australia, China, India, Canada, Syria, Great Britain, USA and several other countries. So far, 14 investors have received citizenship.
The programme has been criticised by the EU since its launch. According to the EU, it carries the risk of issuing passports to persons who are at risk or have doubtful past
In many respects, it is the EU requirements that lead to the closure of the Moldovan citizenship programme for investments. This is one of the conditions for granting a tranche of €30 million, which should help the country’s economy.
The EU policy on citizenship for investment has led to changes in the programs of other countries. Thus, the program of Malta was criticized, and this was one of the reasons for its restart in September 2020. The Due Diligence check will become stricter and the passport 一 will take longer to be issued.
The Parliament of Cyprus has also recently adopted new rules for the citizenship programme for investment. Among the innovations, there are 5 important amendments which concern the requirements for an investor, opportunities for family members and the amount of investment.