The Moldova Government has suspended accepting applications for citizenship by investment program as of July 19th. Since then the Government has extended the moratorium on the CBI scheme until Feb 20, 2020.
Please see What happened to Moldova CBI?
This week the Government announced the third extension on moratorium will continue until Sep 2020 until final decision is made on the fate of the scheme.
No new applications will be accepted until Sep 2021 for the Moldovan citizen by investment (MCBI) program.
What should you Know
- Moldova citizenship by investment was launched in Nov 2018 in cooperation with Henley and Partners.
- So far since the launch of CBI scheme in Nov 2018, a total of 34 applications has been received which are currently being examined.
- Nine marketing agents have been approved to handle applications. All agent background will be thoroughly scrutinized further.
- Five applications have been granted citizenship for investments. The checks will be more stringent
- The new Government will examine all agents files and will soon update on the status of the MCBI scheme whether the scheme will proceed further or canceled.
- The Citizenship by Investment regulations is not repealed yet and the government is set to review the risks posed by CBI program in Moldova. Until then, the MCBI scheme will remain only suspended, not closed yet.
What happened with Moldova
The change in Government and political climate after 2019 elections led to concerns with the scheme offering citizenship to foreign investors. This has led to authorities suspending the scheme. The European commission also expressed concerns on visa regime on the issue of passports.
The MCBI when launched was expected to bring 4 billion investments to the state. The scheme was initially had a quota granting passports to 5000 investors.
What will happen in the future
Moldova is expected to grant citizenship to all 36 applicants who have already applied. Nobody knows the future of the scheme. It is like a double edged sword. The scheme may reopen or even be closed.
The fate of the MCBI program hangs in balance.
We will provide updates on this further once we have the decision of the Moldovan government.
Why MCBI did not become popular
Moldova citizenship scheme did gain some attention but not hugely popular. This is because Moldova did not have visa waiver to United Kingdom, Canada. etc. Moldovan passport did provide visa free access to EU schengen states, Israel, Malaysia, Turkey, Qatar etc.
Another reason is the scheme is slightly expensive since applicants had to pay €100,000 (in euros than US dollars) plus high application fees. There are much better and cheaper schemes like Vanuatu, Grenada, St Lucia comes with more passport benefits
Moldova is not in schengen and still has not received candidate status to join European Union in the future.
We believe Vanuatu, Grenada are top class citizenship investment programs when weighed with pricing and passport benefits.