- Cyprus decides to remove Cypriot citizenship for 39 investors and 6 members of their families.
- Cyprus is also investigating a further six cases, and has put another 47 under continuous monitoring.
- Cyprus agreed in October last year to end its Golden Visa scheme on November 1, 2020.
Cyprus government officials said today that they will formally recall the ‘Gold Visa’ cash-for-citizenship passports from 39 foreigners who obtained Cypriot citizenship under a disgraced investment scheme. Six of their dependents will also be stripped of their Cypriot passports.
Cyprus Council of Ministers has announced the decision to remove “Cypriot citizenship for 39 investors and 6 members of their families,” without specifying the names of the individuals impacted though.
The government is also said it is investigating six more fraud cases, and has put another 47 “under continuous monitoring… on the basis of the procedures provided.”
Cyprus agreed in October last year to end its Golden Visa scheme on November 1, 2020, which had allowed foreigners to secure residence and citizenship rights in return for investing millions into the country. To qualify, individuals would have to, at least, invest €2 million ($2.43 million) in Cypriot properties on top of a donation to the government research fund.
The scheme, dubbed cash-for-citizenship, is thought to have raised €7 billion ($8.12 billion) before the government accepted it had been open to “abusive exploitation.”
Around 7,000 people are thought to have secured citizenship under the scheme before it was shut down, with a government appointed commission subsequently finding that more than 53% of those who received passports through this method did so unlawfully.
Once an individual has received a Cypriot passport, they would be able to travel, work, and reside in any of the other European Union member states. Previously, the European Commission criticized Cyprus for granting these passports, claiming that “European values are not for sale,” and accusing the scheme of “trading European citizenship for financial gains.”