Georgiades says cap on beneficiaries of naturalised investors considered

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By Stelios Orphanides

Finance minister Harris Georgiades said that while the government plans to keep its citizenship by investment scheme in place, it may consider a cap on the number of beneficiaries, already exceeding 1,000 since 2013, Kathimerini reported in its Sunday edition.

“The government has already gone ahead with a substantial revision of the scheme and will not hesitate to go ahead with new adjustment and modification in order to ensure that the scheme will continue, will serve our economy’s needs, will not lead to excesses and will preserve the good reputation of our country,” Georgiades was quoted as saying.

The government may consider regulating more strictly how the private sector advertises the scheme with the introduction of an annual cap on naturalisations of beneficiaries, Kathimerini reported citing Georgiades.

He added that aspects of the scheme were causing concern and that its effectiveness should be monitored.
The latest version of the scheme allows foreign citizens investing at least €2m in Cyprus to apply for a Cypriot passport, reducing the requirement of previous versions which stood at €2.5m, €5m and €12.5m.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Kevin Ingham

    I suspect they want to bring it under some sort of “control”, because at the moment it appears to be completely out of control and is obviously making other EU countries ask to who and for what purpose all these passports that bestow unlimited EU access are being doled out.

    You can see the EU turning a bit of a blind eye if it helped Cyprus through the post bail out recession, but if all it’s really doing is allowing dodgy characters to bypass sanctions or get their money laundered or out of their own governments’ reach (and making equally dodgy characters a lot of money this end) then it really does need to be shut down.

    I suspect that they are being sold without too many question to people who probably want to give as few answers as possible and get the whole process completed as quickly as possible. It seems odd that a country with a bureaucracy famed for it’s slow moving characteristics can process a new passport application to foreigners quicker than any other country in Europe? (it appears that it’s he “speed of the application” that is important to most of these “investors”)

    • CM follower

      I was expecting some kind of an attack from some high minded and ” concerned” ex pat hell bent on a great opportunity of GC bashing! While I disagree with the sale of passports it is not illegal and the UK excels in the practice! Look at all these lovely Russians and Indian tycoons been granted citizen ship at a stroke while all the rest of the masses have to go through the asylum process which may not get them through ! But one has to bear in mind that at least these passport buyers do not need to access the benefit system or the health services! And they do bring money in the seller country and ultimately the EU. More than can be said about your recent average nationality seeker that we have seen recently.

      …..there are limits of how many toilets and offices to clean you know.,.,,

      • Kevin Ingham

        I agree – the fact people with money can access the UK and the EU with a UK issued EU passport is an utter disgrace too. If the article had encompassed that aspect I would have condemned it as well (but it didn’t)

        • peemdubya

          Kevin, agree but why do they make it so difficult for “real” residents (ie ex-pats who have been here for the minimum of 5 years) to get citizenship? Most of us pay taxes here, we contribute to the economy on an on-going basis, but that counts for nothing when it comes to jumping through the boxes of hoops that are produced when applications are submitted. If anyone knows how to easily overcome this I would be really grateful

  • Bystander

    To me it sounds as ‘limiting access to passports to those who bring thick brown envelopes along with official investment’.

    • Mike

      Surely you mean limiting access to passports for those who do not bring thick brown envelopes along with official investment! It would be nice to know how much tax revenue the state benefits by from this ‘official investment’ or is it the Caymen Islands, Panama and British Virgin Islands who actually benefit with us supplying the means and platform to generate profits – just a thought!

  • SuzieQ

    “The good reputation of our country” quoted Harris. Also “aspects of the scheme are causing concern”. And what may they be, I wonder?

  • Cadmus

    In regard to the comments by CM. follower: To apply for British citizenship you must have been resident for the previous 5 years and not been absent more than 90 days in the previous year. I am not aware of any fast-track system which involves paying or investing money. Please correct me if I am wrong, with specific examples.

    • Kevin Ingham

      I believe you are correct- you can fast track a visa, but a passport requires a residency period of several years (and rightly so)