EU CIP immigration still open as Cyprus suspends

Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 2 November 2020: While the success story of Cypriot Citizenship-by-Investment Programme has come to an end, investors are left with fewer options to acquire an EU citizenship through investment.

The Cyprus Government has announced the suspension of its Citizenship-by-Investment Programme (CIP) effective November 1, 2020. The CIP had an important role to play in the recovery of the Cypriot economy from the previous global recession by encouraging significant foreign direct investment to the tune of over €7 billion. Despite the significant changes that were recently introduced by the government, the programme has been suspended.

Limited options with lucrative investment opportunities

The suspension of the Cypriot CIP does not mean that investors have to abandon their European dream altogether. Quite a few Citizenship-by-Investment Programmes in the Schengen Region are still accessible by investors with promising ROIs.

“Investors are in a race against time when it comes to acquiring European citizenship through investment. Very few countries are still offering Residency and Citizenship-by-Investment Programmes to investors, and there shall be no doubts that leveraging available opportunities is highly recommended before changes to those programmes being implemented as a result of the thorough reviewing process taking place,” says Mimoun Assraoui, RIF Trust CEO and Latitude Vice-Chairman.

Portugal’s Golden Visa

An alternative to these citizenship programmes is offered by Portugal. Their Residence-by-Investment programme, also known as the Golden Visa, is very popular due to its flexible nature. They only require seven days of residence per year to maintain the residence status. Those holding the golden visa gain the right to live and work in Portugal and visa-free access to the rest of the EU. Real estate investment options start from as little as €280,000.

Malta Citizenship-by-Investment Programme

For investors who are still interested in diversifying their citizenship, Malta will soon be launching a revised version of its citizenship programme. Malta has long been recognized as having the most stringent due diligence standards in the industry and a comprehensive application process which ensures the integrity of the programme remains intact. Version 2.0 is expected to start from approximately €1M.

Montenegro Citizenship-by-Investment Programme

Another alternative to Cyprus is offered by the Balkan country of Montenegro. While not yet a member of the EU, it is expected to join by 2025. As such, it is less costly and starts from about €420,000.

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Dubai Gazette