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Cyprus to give full report to Commission on ‘golden passports’

January 31, 2019 at 9:48am
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Part of the income from investments by foreigners who are granted Cypriot citizenship will be going back to the community. This is one of the amendments to the Cyprus Investment Programme which the government is considering following the recent report by the European Commission which put Cyprus in the dock.

The Commission has expressed concern about golden passport and golden visa schemes offered by Cyprus an other EU countries.

On Wednesday, the Finance Minister is expected to table proposals for approval before the Council of Minister aiming to further shield the ‘passport for citizenship’ scheme. In addition, the government plans to also link the scheme to the state’s housing and rent subsidy policy.

An insider told Phileleftheros that the government’s focus is for provisions in the programme to pave the way for a certain amount of income from foreign investments in Cyprus to be returned to vulnerable groups.

In addition, the government plans to inform the Commission about each and every prospective investor applying for Cypriot citizenship and will commit to sending all his/her personal and asset data to Brussels.

The same insider also said that this measure, together with due diligence tests of prospective investors, will help Cyprus from being targeted over the “golden passports” scheme.

This measure is expected to also strengthen the provision under which a prospective investor proves that he/she lives in Cyprus for at least six months. This is to address criticism that foreign investors visit Cyprus only once and are granted Cypriot citizenship.

At the same time, the sectors where interested parties could invest will be expanded, while the code of conduct for naturalisation service providers is expected to also get stricter. It is not ruled out that a violation of the Code of Conduct will become a criminal offence.

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Cyprus to shield ‘golden passports’ scheme