Since 2013, the island nation has earned 6.6 billion euros from passport trade.The government of Cyprus approved the tightening of the conditions of the program “citizenship for investment”, also known as the program” Golden passports”, AP reported.
“The investment threshold for citizenship increases from £ 2 million to £ 2.5 million. In addition, a mandatory donation of 150 thousand pounds in Cyprus state funds”, writes the New York Times.
Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus Harris Georgiadis 13 February said that from now on, applicants wishing to obtain a passport of the Mediterranean island state, will be checked by the international Agency and must have a visa allowing travel within the EU.
In addition, those who have already refused to obtain citizenship of another EU country, Cyprus will not give the opportunity to try their luck on the island, notes Financial Mirror.
Now to obtain Cypriot citizenship is required to invest a minimum of 2 million euros in real estate, invest them in a business on the island or buy the same amount of government bonds. At the same time, only those who already own real estate for at least 500 thousand euros can use the program. The innovations come into force on may 15 and will not affect those who have already applied for participation in the program.
Since 2013, when the program “citizenship for investment” was introduced, it was used by 1,864 foreigners. The investment amounted to 6.6 billion euros.
At the same time, experts believe that in fact little has changed, and call the tightening “cosmetic”, writes The Bell. According to the consultants, even with the changes Cyprus program will remain the most accessible in Europe.
To change the conditions of citizenship Cyprus went to the request of the EC. According to European officials, the existing schemes help to remain unpunished criminal groups. It was also noted that the legislation of Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria has shortcomings in the verification of the origin of funds of persons who have acquired citizenship. In addition, countries do not provide an easy way to identify those who have obtained passports under the investment scheme.
Recall that as a result of the financial reform introduced in Cyprus in 2013, “Russian offshore pocket lost weight”, according to various estimates, in the amount of $8 to $40 billion.