Cyprus to cap naturalisations at 700 per year
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
It was recently announced that there will be a cap of 700 on the number of investors eligible to obtain Cypriot citizenship through the country’s immigration program.
The announcement came following a cabinet meeting where the Press Information Officer (PIO) unveiled the updated plans. This will see a reduction in the number of naturalisations. There were more than 1,000 people (main applicants and dependants) naturalised under this program in 2017.
The program, which is also set to be renamed the “Cypriot Investment Scheme” will be subject to enhanced due diligence procedures, thereby increasing its long-term sustainability. Speaking on the importance of Due Diligence in the citizenship by investment (CBI) industry, Dr. Clint Bennetti, Director of Trusts and Corporate Services at Kylin Prime Group noted “Due diligence is an essential component of any citizenship by investment program as without adequate structures in place, a program could be open to misuse. Just as countries and investors benefit from adequate due diligence procedures, likewise, poor practices can have a disastrous impact on the program itself, the reputation of the country offering it and the quality of the passport associated with that citizenship.”
Since its introduction in 2014, the Cyprus CBI program has resulted in more than 3,000 being naturalised, and more than €4 billion in investment coming into the country with a minimum investment of €2 million being required in order to be eligible for this scheme. Since the collapse of the country’s financial system in 2013, the program has tremendously benefitted the Cypriot economy, and is one of the factors contributing to the recent success of the Cyprus property market.
This latest development comes against the backdrop of increasing scrutiny of CBI programs within the EU, as the European Commission is set to investigate Golden Visa programs in an attempt to reduce their potential abuse to corruption and money laundering.