Cyprus will conduct due diligence on past applicants, audits on all investors at regular intervals in the future, and revoke citizenships if necessary.
The Cypriot Ministry of Interior will re-examine citizenship by investment applications submitted prior to the introduction of more stringent vetting requirements in 2018, Interior Minister Konstantinos Petridis told KIPE.
From December onwards, as the three international due diligence firms previously selected through a public tender formally embark on their mandate to conduct enhanced vetting on CIP-applicants, the program will undergo an internal audit that encompasses the retroactive background checks on already-approved applicants.
“Using enhanced due diligence methods available today, an additional internal audit will be conducted, investigating the naturalizations that took place before 2018, that is, before the applied criteria became more stringent. This investigation will show whether persons who have been granted Cypriot citizenship face charges of committing offenses and/or European restrictive measures,” said Petridis.
Mr. Petrides also noted that, in cases where there are grounds for it, the Ministry will initiate a process of deprivation of Cypriot citizenship. “The deprivation of citizenship process will be triggered in all cases where the due diligence review […] demonstrates that naturalized investors or family members facing charges of wrongdoing and/or have been subject to international or European sanctions or restrictions.”
The Minister of Interior emphasized that for all approved applications from 2018 onwards, continuous due diligence audits will take place to ascertain any suspicions of naturalized investors, even if any offenses arise after the naturalization.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.