Friday, November 23, 2012

Buying Citizenship in Hungary

Fisherman's Bastion
Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest, Hungary
Photo by Eduardo Fonseca Arraes
Last Wednesday we talked about Spain offering residency for house buyers, but would-be expats may want to take a look at Hungary. Hungary may go a step further. Hungary might offer citizenship for those buy €250,000 in government bonds. That's right — citizenship, not residency.

Mind you, if Hungary's economy holds, you (theoretically) won't even lose your money! Like the Spanish opportunity, this potential expat haven is happening because Hungary is struggling financially and trying to figure out how to deal with the financial mess that it's in. Unlike the Spanish opportunity, would-be expats wouldn't have to fear the locals getting too upset because you wouldn't be kicking anyone out of their homes. However, the European Union is not happy with Hungary. That's because gaining citizenship in one EEA (European Economic Area) country pretty much means you can live and work in any of them. Can't have those pesky rich Chinese moving next door, eh? Oh, and did I mention that, like the Spanish option, it's designed to attract the Chinese? Nobody seems to want to attract American investors any more. It's the Chinese who are the up and coming people and while the US may not be paying attention, Europe is.

Before you buy a Hungarian guidebook, read a bit about the Hungarian economic problems. Things may not be going so well for them right now.
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