Worldwide, immigrant investor programs can be categorized as follows:
- Investments in the private sector (the aim is to generate new job openings by stimulating foreign investments)
- Investments between the investor and the government (the aim is to increase government revenues)
According to this categorization, it is most likely that, if enacted, Serbian legislation would provide the Serbian passport by investment to be reached through one of these options.
Finally, in order to ensure the integrity of the program and reduce the risk of abuse, destination countries run background checks to inspect whether investor’s financial means come from a legal source and whether they have a criminal record. Prior to finding in favor of investor’s application, it is most likely that the Serbian Ministry of Interior along with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be in charge of conducting these inspections.
Nevertheless, before enacting such legislation, many open questions need to be answered. How much money or other financial assets will foreigners have to invest in Serbia in order to qualify for the program? Over which period of time? Will there be a requirement for them to spend a certain period of time in Serbia before applying for citizenship? How many job openings will their investments be required to create?
Until that happens, foreign investors will have to either follow traditional routes or they would have to prove that granting them citizenship is “in the interest of the Republic of Serbia”, without knowing the precise criteria which constitute this ground.