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August 5, 2020

Cyprus approves bills to tighten CBI programme

On July 31, Cyprus Parliament approved two proposed regulations which are set to tighten the country’s citizenship by investment programme.

The bills, which propose amendments to the country’s citizenship by investment programme, which was set up in 2016, have been raised following media criticism of the programme, and concerns raised by the EU. The EU had flagged the programme as a potential money-laundering risk for Cyprus.

According to the Cyprus Property News, Akel MP Eleni Mavrou stated that what had started with 30 to 40 passports per year turned into 700 to 800 annually, with Cyprus’ name being dragged as far as Hollywood and president’s law office linked.

In a bid to clean up, the Cypriot government put a temporary freeze on the programme in January while it discussed a number of reforms aimed at tightening regulations and strengthening the programme’s due diligence processes.

One of the latest amendments to be passed specifies that a condition of the CBI programme is that at least €100,000 goes towards the national solidarity fund for depositors who lost funds during the 2013 haircut, as well as bondholders.

Other new regulations proposed include sanctions for a Cyprus passport holder who has broken the law, as well as holding the service provider, who assists investors in filling
their application, more accountable by carrying out strict due diligence procedures.

To find out more about the Cyprus citizenship by investment programme, visit our Cyprus Country Profile