No law exempting Cypriot passport holders from reserve duty -Audit Office

February 11, 2019 at 12:45pm

There is no legislation which exempts people who acquired a Cypriot passport under the Cyprus Investment Programme, from serving reserve army duty, the Audit Office said.

This statement follows a report by the Audit Office on the state of the reserve army of Cyprus, which was made public on Wednesday.

According to current legislation, investors are exempt from serving the mandatory 14-month military service, however those under 50 years of age should have been called up for reserve duty.

The National Guard has never disclosed whether there are people who acquired a passport under the Cyprus Investment Programme who fall under the criteria to be called up for reserve duty, the Audit Office said.

“We suggest that the state clarifies whether the postponement of military service will be granted to beneficiaries, irrespective of the extent to which they have fulfilled military service in their country of origin before their naturalisation or will fulfil in the future,” the Audit Office said.

It added that the Ministry of Defence should bring this matter into the consideration of the cabinet and that the state should examine the possibility of giving the option to investors to buy off their military obligations.

According to Interior Ministry figures, between 2008-2017, the number of people who have acquired the Cypriot citizenship by exemption was 3,381. Of them, 3,336 were investors and members of their families, 23 were honorary citizenships and 22 were athletes/coaches who were granted a citizenship after a suggestion of the Cyprus Sports Organisation.

In the past two years, 855 individuals acquired Cypriot passports under the Cyprus Investment Programme and Cyprus made €2.5 billion in revenue as a result, Insider reported.

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