The question, from Mars di Bartolomeo and Marc Angel (both LSAP), comes after the European Commission published a report on 23 January criticising schemes found in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta, which allow foreign citizens to access EU citizenship by investing.
While Luxembourg’s investor scheme does not grant a fast-track to Luxembourg nationality, it does offer residency opening the door for making a nationality claim after five years of residence. The parliamentary question probed the stringency of the criteria for the Luxembourg scheme.
Immigration minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP) wrote that the scheme aimed to “encourage entrepreneurship and develop the Luxembourg financial centre”. The procedure for applying requires an assessment by the economy ministry to check the project is in one of the target sectors.
“This analysis is done based on an investment plan provided by the applicant,” the minister explained. Checks on the origin of the money to be invested are carried out by the bank which handles the investment. The finance ministry, along with financial authorites like the CSSF, handles requests in relation to investments in an investment vehicle or in the form of a deposit.
In all cases, investor visa applicants are subject to the same criteria as other third country visa applicants with respect to security controls and must provide a police certificate from their country of origin or last country of residence. Meanwhile, they are all subject to legislation against money laundering and financing terrorist activities.
Asselborn said the finance ministry had yet to approve an investor visa, while the economy ministry approved just 6. “These figures show the rigour with which the law is applied in Luxembourg,” Asselborn wrote.