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Want a Hungarian Passport? Just Buy $322,600 in Bonds

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

Wealthy foreigners who buy at least 250,000 euros of special Hungarian government bonds may be able to obtain Hungarian permanent residency if a new law passes.

Lawmakers in the indebted country proposed legislation that would grant the permanent residency and ultimately Hungarian citizenship to outsiders who have that kind of money (e.g.; Chinese investors).

While the returns of Hungarian government bonds may not be that favorable, investors who receive the Hungarian passport would be entitled to live and work throughout the European Union - which can be very attractive to certain wealthy individuals - reports Reuters.

Hungary has billions of euros worth of foreign currency debt maturing in the next few years and is exploring these “residency bonds” as a way to refinance.

While the idea of selling a country’s nationality for euros may seem “foreign” and laughable, Americans have to look no further than their own laws to find a similar program.

Under U.S. immigration laws, wealthy investors who have $500,000 may also be able to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. (and eventually citizenship) if they invest the money in the U.S. But instead of investing in government bonds, investors in America are expected to invest in businesses.

Unlike the proposed Hungarian program, the U.S. government does not overtly covet Chinese investors. But it is no mystery that Chinese investors make up a large portion of those investors entering with an investment visa.

And if you account for the currency exchange, the U.S. and Hungarian programs are very similar in terms of both its benefits and the amount it takes to “buy” a nationality.

Wealthy Chinese investors sit an enviable position where they can choose whether to live in the hustle and bustle of New York City or the City of Lights in Paris.

To learn more about the immigrant investor programs, it is a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney.

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