Changes in the EU Citizenship Program.
- 11 august 2019 - 11:43:36
The new rules for the program — a passport in return for investments — will enter into force on August 15 this year. From now on, applicants and the origin of their funds will undergo a thorough review.
Three consulting companies that have already been selected but still not named will now conduct a comprehensive review of each applicant. Their services will cost the budget 1.4 million euros per year. Until now, the only requirement for an applicant for citizenship was the absence of a criminal record, and no questions were asked about the sources of investment funds.
In addition, two weeks ago, the Cabinet of Ministers completed work on amendments to the new criteria for providing a passport for investments. Citizenship will be denied to persons associated with political regimes (politically exposed person) and those under sanctions. Until now, both of these criteria have been applied exclusively individually.
This will be the fifth version of the scheme for providing a passport for investments from the moment of its introduction in 2013. The total investment in the real estate sector under the scheme for 2016-2018 amounted to 1.2% of Cyprus GDP.
In addition, the rules governing the mandatory payment of 75 thousand euros to the Research and Innovation Fund and the Cyprus Land Development Organization (KOAG) were finalized. The contribution to the Research and Innovation Fund should stimulate the development of other sectors of the economy in addition to construction. It can be canceled if the applicant has already invested the same amount in a certified innovative business or a certified social company, or invested from 400 thousand euros in a Cyprus company engaged in primary or secondary sectors of the economy, research, technology, educational projects, healthcare or renewable energy . The COAG fee is intended to sponsor a government affordable housing program. Amounts must be paid after approval of the application and before the issuance of the passport.
In addition, investments of up to 200 thousand euros in the secondary market of the Cyprus Stock Exchange, which were limited by investment funds, will now be open to individuals.