Alternatives to the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme
15 February 2021
With the Cypriot government’s official suspension of the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme in November 2020, President of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, has confirmed last week that the programme will “not be replaced” and remain closed indefinitely.
Cyprus’ Citizenship by Investment Programme had generated more than €9 billion in direct foreign investment but now "other incentives will be offered for investments, but not with citizenship," said Mr. Anastasiades.
What alternative options remain for clients seeking European citizenship through investment?
- Portugal offers a very popular Golden Visa programme, also known as a Residence by Investment Programme, that can lead to citizenship after five years. Although demonstrating genuine links to the country and a basic understanding of the Portuguese language are also required to qualify for citizenship. While changes to this programme have recently been announced for 1st January, 2022, the current minimum real estate investment requirement starts from $280,000.
- Malta recently launched a new option known as the Malta Exceptional Investment Naturalisation which grants citizenship within 12 or 36 months. Maltese citizens enjoy visa-free travel to over 180 countries including the UK, Canada and the USA. Malta employs the world’s highest due diligence standards ensuring only the most reputable applicants are approved. The starting price for Malta citizenship is approximately €950,000.
- Montenegro offers a Citizenship-by-Investment Programme which starts from just over €400,000. While not yet a member of the European Union, Montenegro is the next country scheduled to join in 2025. Once that happens, citizens will gain the right to live and work anywhere in the EU.
All three of these options are considerably less expensive than the former Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme and have proven popular with private clients and their families from around the world.
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