The Council of Minsters has decided on Monday to limit the number of naturalisations of investors granted under the citizenship by investment scheme to 700 a year. The new rules will come into effect this year.
In addition, the Cypriot scheme is to be given a new name and is now the “Cypriot Investment Scheme”
This decision is in response to a number of criticisms by EU institutions that the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment scheme was being used by applicants to launder money.
The Council has therefore proposed a greater scrutiny of applications with an enhanced due diligence, the cost of which is to be borne by the applicant. It has been suggested that the wait time for the process to be completed will be up to 6 months.
According to the Press and Information Office, “a code of conduct has been adopted with clear provisions to avoid exaggerations and abusive practices”. While investors have to remain owners of their investment for a minimum three-year period, in the case of buyers of real estate, the period now begins with the issue of a town planning permit.
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