Schengen Visa News

Malta Risks Losing Visa-Free Travel to US Due to Its Golden Passport Scheme

In the future, citizens of Malta may have to apply for a visa to enter the United States, as senators from the latter want to ban Malta from the US Visa Waiver Program, citing the risks posed by a Maltese citizen by investing in the United States.

Malta is currently one of 40 countries in Europe to benefit from a program that allows people to travel to the United States without the need to obtain a visa, as long as they plan to stay in the country for 90 days or less.

Representatives of the US Congress, Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Steve Cohen (TN-09) on March 3 introduced the Trafficker Travel Ban bill, a bipartisan piece of legislation that would revoke a country’s right to the US Visa Waiver Program if they participate in the exercise of Citizenship by Investment To sell passports in exchange for an economic investment.

These schemes, known as “golden passports”, are often criticized for their lack of transparency, enabling criminals to acquire the nationality of a particular country and enjoy its benefits.

According to a March 3 press release from a US congressman, Russians are among the most common beneficiaries of these schemes, TheSchengen.com reports.

Commenting on these schemes, Representative Owens noted that leaders of human trafficking and other international criminal organizations rely heavily on the purchasing power of passports to travel freely around the world, open bank accounts, or even to avoid liability.

In this regard, he noted, “The Traffickers Travel Ban Act addresses the severe security risks of golden passports, marking a critical step in our efforts to isolate bad actors around the world.”

The Traffickers No Travel Act would include prohibiting countries that sell passports from participating in the US Visa Waiver Program and would require the executive branch to publicly list all countries with investment citizenship or “golden passport” programs.

In addition, this program will lead the executive branch to work with the United Kingdom and the European Union to cancel visa-free travel to the Schengen area for countries that sell passports and prohibit the use of US taxpayer money to check applicants for a “golden passport” so as not to use taxpayer money Taxes enable these corrupt programs.

According to Representative Cohen, many countries sell sex to human traffickers through fake “investments” such as real estate, which should be stopped. At the same time, buying this passport gives them the right to travel around the world and escape responsibility for their crimes.

Congressmen lead Owens and Cohen to protect our security by introducing bipartisan legislation to crack down on dangerous practices by some countries that sell their citizenship and passports. Alleged “golden passport” schemes are being misused by criminals and human traffickers from around the world, and this practice must end,” said Marshall Billingsley, former assistant secretary of state for terrorist financing in the United States. The Treasury Department also added.

In this regard, members of the European Union Parliament called on member states to end such schemes by operating programs that give foreigners citizenship to invest in their lands.

Currently, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta are the only EU member states that are currently running plans to issue passports to investors. While Bulgaria and Cyprus have already decided to end these schemes, Malta, on the other hand, has offered no indication of this.

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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