Presenting the annual budget for 2016, the Cypriot Interior Minister stated that Cyprus Citizenship by Investment has attracted investments worth €2.5billion since its introduction in 2013.
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program requires deposit of €5 million in a Cypriot bank, investment of the sum in bonds or equity shares in the country, or purchase of a property worth at least €300,000. Other requirements include transfer of the funds from outside Cyprus into the country and that the applicant should not work in Cyprus.
Introduced as a temporary measure to revive the country’s economy, the comparatively low investment requirement and benefits and privileges of citizenship have made this program very popular among investors.
Such investment immigration programs have been criticized by the EU, which require nations like Cyprus and Malta to impose more stringent eligibility norms. The Interior Minister stated that there were no plans to impose tougher requirements on applicants. Allaying security risks of the program, the Minister said that thorough checks and extensive screening were being conducted to ensure ineligible or unsuitable applicants were not granted citizenship.
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