The Netherlands has officially closed its Investor Visa program to new applicants, effective October 1st, marking the end of a program that has seen minimal utilization since its inception in 2013.
Over the past decade, only ten investors successfully obtained Dutch residency through the program. According to State Secretary Eric van der Burg, despite efforts to modify the admission scheme while safeguarding against misuse, the program failed to generate substantial economic contributions.
The second factor that affected the decision to close the program was the European Union's disapproval of such visa schemes. The EU has been increasingly critical of programs, which offer residency or citizenship in exchange for financial investments.
Regarding the possibility of promoting the program more effectively to boost application numbers, van der Burg remained skeptical. He noted that wealthy investors who obtained visas through such programs typically did not relocate to the Netherlands or even the EU. Consequently, they were unlikely to actively participate in the Dutch economy.
He highlighted that other EU member states with more lenient investment criteria or anti-money laundering safeguards offered more attractive alternatives for investors seeking residency or citizenship through investment. This contributed to the diminished interest in the Netherlands' program, ultimately leading to its closure.