Turkish nationals are increasingly turning to Citizenship by Investment programmes in EU member countries due to long waiting times and an increase in rejection of visa applications, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported on Wednesday.
Also known as the Golden Passport programme, Citizenship-by-Investment allows for wealthy internationals and their family members to acquire participating EU member countries’ citizenship and move freely to Schengen’s borderless area on the condition that applicants have a specific amount of investment and meet other requirements, it said.
Grappling with an ailing economy, Turkish citizens are spending some 100 million euros annually to obtain Schengen visas, Hürriyet newspaper reported earlier this month.
But the country’s citizens are being faced with increased scrutiny of their applications and months-long waiting periods for appointments, according to the newspaper. Appointments are taking up to three months while Schengen visa refusals of Turkish nationals rose to 12.7 percent in 2020, as compared to 4 percent in 2014, according to Hürriyet.
Turkey is faced with an economic crisis, forcing citizens to struggle in meeting their basic needs as the country’s inflation rate has it a 24-year high. The lira has lost over 50 percent of its value since last year.
Wealthy Turkish citizens are considering the Citizenship by Investment programmes as an effective way to acquire EU citizenship, SchengenVisaInfo.com said, despite warning from the EU regarding unlawful affairs in the programme.
The alternative Golden Passport program has been involved in corruption and money laundering, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com, prompting the EU Commission to call on all member states to pull the plug on such programmes as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Turkey in June filed an appeal to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) regarding the notable increase in the number of Schengen visas rejected for a period from 2014 until 2020, , SchengenVisaInfo.com reported.