What’s up with the Cypriot Passport? Astons Experts Comment on the Media Hype

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The mass media has recently announced that the Cypriot government will suspend new applications for the Cypriot citizenship. The media were quick to proclaim the end of the programme, yet what happened was only a minor change in the procedure. The programme will continue as before. The Astons experts explain how the Cypriot immigration system works and why foreign investors seeking a Cypriot passport have nothing to worry about.  

 

I heard the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment programme will be closed. Is it true?

 

The short answer is no. The Cypriot Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programme - celebrated as the most successful investment migration scheme globally -  will work as before. Foreign investors planning to secure a Cypriot passport for themselves and their families can successfully obtain citizenship. 

 

Now in more detail. Cyprus Mail came up with an article explaining the changes in the formal procedure of granting citizenship to foreign investors. At this point, the decision on passport issue within the CIP is made by the Council of Ministers of Cyprus. After a law-abiding applicant passes the check, he or she will receive the passport. According to the existing rules, the Cypriot government makes the decision unilaterally. 

 

A few months ago, the Cypriot deputies proposed to legally alter the procedure of citizenship approval. After all the regulatory acts are signed, the decision on citizenship will be made not only by the Council of Ministers, but also by the Cypriot Parliament. 

 

It’s crucial to understand that this is a merely formal aspect that does not impact applicants for the Cypriot passport. Foreign investors applying within the CIP programme and meeting the immigration requirements can count on successfully obtaining the passport. 

 

Thank you for the clear explanation! And what will the new procedure look like? 

 

There will be no changes for applicants. Candidate requirements and the application procedure will remain the same as they are now. 

 

As for the legal side of the issue, namely the Parliament having a stake in passport decision-making, the new scheme has not been developed yet. Sources close to the Cypriot government informed that approving the new regulatory acts might take up to half a year since the role of members of Parliament in the approval procedure is still under discussion. 

 

Please note that all applications submitted by foreign investors before January 31, 2020, will be reviewed based on the old scheme. In these cases, the decision on granting citizenship will still be taken solely by the Council of Ministers of Cyprus. 

 

So I gather these changes are a mere formality and I can apply for the Cypriot passport with ease. Right? 

 

Absolutely. If you are a law-abiding investor, you will receive a Cypriot passport regardless of which Cypriot governmental body will approve the applications. 

 

Astons has been helping foreign investors obtain a second citizenship for over 30 years. Our immigration experts will guide you through the entire immigration process. Due to multiple meticulous checkups, 100% of our clients receive their Cypriot passports. 

 

Great! Is there any possibility that a Cypriot passport may be revoked?

 

No. The only exception accounts for the cases when the passport was issued with known violations. Check out this article for more details.

 

If you meet all immigration requirements stipulated by the Citizenship by Investment Programme, rest assured that you will successfully obtain the passport and it will not be revoked. This is guaranteed by the rule of law which is strictly followed in Cyprus.

 

The Cypriot legislation directly sets forward the cases when applicants can be rejected: if they have a criminal record or open criminal proceedings in any country or if they are affiliated with terrorist organisations or listed by Interpol.

 

If you are a law-abiding investor, you have submitted the documents correctly and you have nothing to hide from the Cypriot authorities, your passport will never be withdrawn.

 

According to the laws of Cyprus, citizenship may be revoked in a number of explicit non-ambiguous scenarios: if you commit a serious crime in any country within 10 years after naturalisation, demonstrate disloyalty to Cyprus by word or action, collaborate with an enemy during a war or if you fail to report your physical residence outside of Cyprus within seven years after obtaining the passport. 

 

I see. What are the requirements for the Cypriot citizenship

 

There are only a few requirements, they are logical and easy. 

 

  1. You must be 18 years of age or older

  2. You must have no criminal record

  3. You must not be on the list of persons under the EU sanctions

  4. You must have a valid Schengen visa

  5. You have not been denied citizenship by any other EU member state

 

OK. Suppose I meet all the immigration requirements. How can I prove that I’m a law-abiding citizen? 

 

It’s crucial to engage with a reliable lawyer firm that will cater to the entire immigration process. You should factor in the experience, professionalism and reputation of investment migration specialists. 

  

The Astons lawyers will deliver a comprehensive service: from citizenship application to passport retrieval. They will suggest optimal investment strategies and help you pick property in Cyprus. The Astons experts double and triple check the documents and only submit them to the Cypriot authorities when they are 100% positive of the successful outcome. 

 

Applicants should prove their law abidance and veracity of all submitted information. After the application is approved, the future citizen takes an oath of allegiance to the Republic of Cyprus, thus guaranteeing his or her compliance in person. 

 

OK, that sounds comforting to me. Aside from reliability, what are the other benefits of the Cypriot immigration programme? 

 

The Cypriot citizenship has many advantages. 

 

The passport of Cyprus allows you to travel to 173 countries without a visa, which can radically improve your quality of life. 

 

You can obtain Cypriot citizenship not only for yourself, but also for your family members: spouse, financially dependent children under 28 y.o. and parents.  

 

The Cypriot passport enables you to live, work, study and do business in any EU country. You will get the privileges available for EU citizens and will be able to secure quality education at special rates for your children. 

 

You will also benefit from the relaxed taxation system. Cypriot residents living outside of Cyprus pay the income tax from Cypriot incomes only. Moreover, the corporate tax for Cypriot citizens is as low as 12.5 percent.

 

With a Cypriot passport, you will be able to relocate to the UK and then apply for residence permit (ILR) in five years or citizenship in six years. You will enjoy this opportunity even after Brexit. The UK immigration rules are complicated so many foreign investors choose to obtain Cypriot citizenship as a fast and convenient way to relocate to London.  

 

Besides, Cyprus offers a favourable climate, high security, good ecology and a host of business prospects.

 

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including UKTurkeyVanuatuEU & the Caribbean. Astons is a Member of the Investment Migration Council (IMC).

 

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at info@astons.com or call +44 207 292 2977