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Rich Hong Kong citizens rush for ‘golden visas’ in Europe

Golden visa schemes are particularly attractive in Europe because of the freedom of movement principle allowing citizens to travel to the other countries in the bloc without a visa.

Picture: Supplied.

LONDON – Wealthy Hong Kong citizens are increasingly on the hunt for new passports in Europe owing to the weekly protests and uncertainty over the territory’s future.

Some agencies, which help the rich secure "golden visa" schemes, are noting a fourfold increase in inquiries.

Many countries around the world offer resident or citizenship rights in exchange for large investments.

Golden visa schemes are particularly attractive in Europe because of the freedom of movement principle allowing citizens to travel to the other countries in the bloc without a visa.

Ireland, Portugal and Malta are becoming the favourite destinations.

The minimum investment required varies hugely around the world. In parts of the Caribbean, a R1.5 million donation is required; in Cyprus, a R32 million real estate investment is needed.