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Moratorium on granting Moldovan citizenship in return for investments

September 3, 2019

In the end of July Moldovan Parliament approved a moratorium on the programme of granting citizenship in return for investments into the national economy. The moratorium came into effect on 23 August 2019.

Late in 2016 the previous government passed amendments in the Law on Citizenship allowing foreign nationals to obtain Moldovan citizenship, if they make investments into the strategic areas of development of the local economy.

These were identified as follows:

– development of the real estate sector by acquiring and owning continuously for at least 60 months one or more real estate objects with a total market value of at least EUR 250 thousand at the date of the investment;
– development of the public financial sector and public investments through the acquisition and ownership of government securities issued for that purpose for a period of at least 60 months, at a value of at least EUR 250 thousand.

Another option was to make an irrevocable contribution of at least EUR 100 thousand per person into the Public Long Term Development Investments Fund.

Members of the investors’ families were also granted a possibility to gain citizenship under simplified conditions.

The citizenship-for-investments framework proved to be very controversial and provoked heated debates in society and, later, in the newly elected Parliament.

In July 2019 the new Parliament decided to suspend the scheme by imposing the respective moratorium.

The Moratorium was introduced for a period of 4 months (starting from 23 August). It will only apply to new applications. Those that had been submitted by the moment of its becoming effective will still be examined under the previously existing conditions.

Before the expiration of the moratorium period the Government may take a decision on its extension for up to 2 months.