There is little chance to abolish the Hungarian residency bond program before the end of 2016 (For more information on the residency bond program, check out our articles here and here).
While theoretically parliament could still convene in a special session during winter break period to discuss the issue, such a move would be unlikely, meaning that for all intents and purposes the program will live on until at least next year.
The Residency Bond system is a program that allows wealthy foreigners to essentially purchase a permit of permanent residency from the government in exchange for a deposit of 300,000 euros, which is later returned to the new Hungarian resident.
Cabinet Minister Antal Rogan, who was instrumental in the program’s initiation, had already mentioned in the beginning of December that the program will not be ended until next year. That the program will not be cancelled this year is reinforced by the fact that the called Hungarian State Special Debt Fund and its partners, who deal chiefly with Chinese clients, have been putting out advertising that residency bonds will definitely still be available for the first quarter of 2017.
And on Sunday, Hungarian news site alfahir.hu wrote one of the companies licensed to sell residency bonds, VolDan Investments Ltd., will be participating in expos in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan next April. (Note: private individuals cannot apply for a residency bond on their own; rather, the application must be processed through one of one of five companies that have been approved by the Hungarian Parliament’s Finance Committee). The company also sells bonds in Kenya, South Africa, and Turkey.
As of the end of November, 4033 foreigners already have gotten the resident permits through this program. Far-right opposition party Jobbik argues that the program poses as great security risks for the country as the current refuge crisis, while other opposition parties have opposed the plan on the grounds that it doesn’t enrich Hungary, but rather those companies and individuals who have close ties to the government. In fact, Jobbik has already proposed the abolition of the law, but Fidesz has rejected their plan; however, the government has declared that they will voluntarily suspend the program, as it is no longer necessary due to the country’s improved economic situation.
Via Magyar Nemzet and Index.hu
Images via origo.hu and alfahir.hu