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More Rich Brits Want Cyprus Golden Visas, EU Passports

Αssociated Press

FILE - An aircraft takes off from Larnaca airport past the control tower, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, at the southern coastal city of Larnaca, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA - As the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union by the end of the year, wealthy British investors and entrepreneurs are lining up to buy Cypriot Golden Visas that come with residency permits and valuable EU passports.

That comes as the European Commission is looking into curbing the practice that has seen the visas in a number of countries, particularly Cyprus, not properly vetted to find criminals and money launderers.

Investors can buy Cypriot visas in two months with a 300,000-euro ($348,945) property purchase while security citizenship outright as a foreigner with no heritage or ties to the country can be done in six months with a minimum 2-million euro ($2.33 million) property purchase.

Meanwhile, those in the Diaspora of Cypriot heritage have to go through normal procedures and wait.

In December, Reuters reported that Cyprus government documents showed several donors to Britain’s ruling Conservative Party donors sought citizenship of the island since the 2016 Brexit referendum was passed.

“Both Cypriot and Caribbean investments are proving very popular ... primarily driven by high-net-worth individuals from the UK who have an eye on the future and life after Brexit,” said investment immigration firm Astons spokesman Konstantin Kaminskiy, the news agency also reported.