Cyprus Golden Visa Restriction: Update

As previously mentioned earlier this year, Brussels is planning to restrict EU countries including Cyprus giving citizenships to wealthy third-country nationals amid growing concerns over security and facilitating money laundering and illicit financing from CIS nations.

“In cases of any doubt, a person should not have the privilege of citizenship. While Europe has no power to ban such a practice, it does have an obligation to put high requirements on the member states to be careful.

The Cyprus Committee of Supervision for the Investment Programme

Earlier in July this year, the committee overseeing the golden visa programme revealed its registry of service. The registry is made up of 255 companies & individuals which are made up of the following competent bodies on the island:

  • 133 Solicitors, law firms & legal services providers.
  • 20 administrative service providers.
  • 19 real estate & land development companies.
  • 19 accounting, auditing & tax service providers.
  • Various other corporate including migration & consultancy providers.

The Committee of Supervision of the Cyprus Investment Programme, as it is officially known, was established earlier this year and was tasked with overseeing the implementation of the programme.

Annual Visa Limit & Advertising Ban

The registered service providers will have to compete for the 700 annual visa limit; and are required to comply with a code of conduct which prohibits them from advertising the Cypriot passport as a product and need to apply specific anti-money laundering practices, including various KYC (know your client) and other compliance regulations.

The IMC said its members were compliant to a comprehensive code of ethics and professional conduct, that addresses any issue pertaining to security.

The IMC Chief Executive again reiterated previous figures to show that the scheme is extremely small in terms of applications: (approximately 700 to 1,000 each financial year). Comparatively speaking with figures from 2016, a total of just under 1 million people obtained citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, meaning citizenship-by-investment only made up approximately 1% of the total of new EU citizenships.

For more information on Cyprus-by-Investment scheme, please click here.

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