The Cypriot Government has announced that it will scrap its current citizenship by investment scheme as of 1st November, after a number of attempts by Al Jazeera to tarnish the nation’s current program.
Al Jazeera has released footage from an undercover journalist showing House president Demetris Syllouris and Akel MP Christakis Giovanis appearing to aid in the investment application of a Chinese businessman with a criminal record.
Those involved deny any wrongdoing, however, the Cypriot Government will now “fully examine its policy to encourage investment” after a full investigation, having already banned cash payments back in 2014. x
Since it was launched in 2007, the citizenship by investment scheme in Cyprus has generated some €7bn Euros for the country, with the nation granting a passport for an investment of €2.5m.
An estimated €18.15bn has been invested in residency and citizenship investment programs worldwide in 2019 alone, with the current pandemic also seeing a sharp increase by those looking to escape to COVID-safe boltholes.
Cyprus is one of the few European countries that grant citizenship via investment rather than residency, providing a quicker route to an EU passport for investors which has made it a popular choice for many.
However, Astons, the alternative residency and citizenship acquisition experts, says today’s news has caused panic amongst legitimate investors currently applying for the scheme, as many rush to complete their investment ahead of the end of the month.
Managing Director of Astons, Arthur Sarkisian, commented: “There’s no denying that residency and citizenship investment has brought a great deal of positivity, not just for Cyprus, but globally.
We’ve seen first hand the positive economic results that investment from foreign nationals can bring and the benefit this has for domestic citizens of the nations they invest within.
Unfortunately, as is often the case in life, a select few have chosen to operate outside of the law for their own personal gain, tarnishing the reputation of the wider sector as a result.
This has caused an immediate and understandable panic amongst those currently applying for Cypriot citizenship through investment, who now fear they may miss out through no fault of their own having abided by the letter of the law throughout the process.
By implementing the appropriate, professional frameworks to accommodate citizenship investment and by allowing only proven and reputable companies to provide this service is the only way to ensure this poor practice is eradicated from our sector.
At Astons, we are unique in the standards that we maintain in ensuring the provenance and suitability of our clients and their reputations, we only wish the same could be said for some of our competitors.”