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Cyprus citizenship by investment programme suspended

PUBLISHED: 2 November 2020

One of the most popular citizenship by investment programmes has long been under scrutiny of and criticised by the European Parliament. It has attracted global attention with cases of abuse, corruption and money laundering.

Though Cypriot Government announced in 2018 and 2019 their plans to enhance the investment scheme by capping the number of issued passports and introducing more stringent due diligence checks, the programme has been abused irrespectively as the latest findings show.

Will the scheme restart again?

The Cyprus citizenship by investment programme has stopped accepting applications from 01 November 2020 following the Cabinet of Ministers’ decision. There have been no talks so far as to whether it will be reinstated in the future.

Why the citizenship programme is put on hold

Al Jazeera was instrumental in uncovering new and old cases of corruption and abuse. They investigated that a big number of investors should not have been granted Cyprus citizenship for a high level of risk they pose to the security of the country and the EU in general.

An undercover documentary reveals that allegedly high-ranking officials in the Cypriot government are prepared to turn a blind eye to criminal convictions and money laundering practices for the sake of attracting more investment.

According to Transparency International EU, an anti-corruption NGO, the Cyprus’s investment scheme “is broken beyond repair”. Only time will show whether this holds true for this and other similar programmes.

Евросоюз всерьез взялся за Кипр и Мальту

The EU goes all serious against Cyprus and Malta

Cyprus is not the only country whose investment program has been accused of creating money laundering, corruption and tax evasion issues. Malta citizenship by investment program is in the spotlight as well and is accused of operating a scheme that is against EU principles. The European Commission has given both countries a formal notice and two months to provide explanations regarding the above-said accusations.

Где сейчас можно получить второе гражданство

What citizenship schemes are open now?

While Cyprus and Malta programs are under investigation by the EU, there are other programs for investors whereby they can get a second passport in return for their contributions to the national economy.

Caribbean citizenship by investment programs are cheaper than their European counterparts while offering similar benefits: visa-free travel, citizenship for the whole family, tax benefits and much more. Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis and Grenada are the top 5 investment destinations for a second nationality. Contact us to discuss your requirements and get advice for the best program for a single applicant or a big family.

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