Cyprus Tightens Rules for Passport-for-Cash Scheme

NICOSIA — Cyprus says it is introducing tougher anti-money laundering checks in its "golden passports" program, under which it gives citizenship to foreigners who invest large sums in the east Mediterranean country.

Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said Wednesday that the government is following through on a pledge to beef up eligibility criteria in the so-called 'golden passport' investment program, which has brought in billions in revenue since its introduction following a 2013 financial crisis.

He said the anti-money laundering rules will be used to bolster the vetting of prospective investors. The new rules will come into force after parliamentary approval.

A new clause will make it easier for investors who are either involved in or have been convicted of a serious crime to have their Cypriot citizenship revoked.

Investors will still need to sink 2 million euros ($2.28 million) into the Cypriot economy and purchase a 500,000-euro ($569,000) home plus tax.

But Nouris said that under the new rules, investors will have a wider array of investment choices, like buying up stock in Cypriot companies. Investors will also have to pay a 150,000-euro ($170,500) application fee, with the money earmarked for Cyprus' housing and entrepreneurship programs.

"The new regulations no longer leave the program open to ridicule, as some have done in the recent past, and leave no doubt as to its credibility," Nouris said.

The number of citizenships issued in the program will be capped at 700 a year.

The program has attracted many investors because a passport from European Union member Cyprus automatically grants holders citizenship to the 27-member bloc. 

The Cypriot government last year moved to revoke the citizenship of 26 foreign investors from countries including Russia, Cambodia, Malaysia and Iran following reports that they had possibly broken the rules.

Some of those individuals were linked to authoritarian governments or were being sought by authorities over their involvement in large-scale money laundering.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades acknowledged at the time that "errors" may have been made in granting such "golden passports."

Some 4,000 Cypriot passports were issued to investors under the program, generating at least 7 billion euros ($7.96 billion) since 2013.


NICOSIA - The Italian energy group Eni said it has drilled a second gas research well in the Cronos field off Cyprus with a production test estimating it could have a capacity of more than 150 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


‘Without Us, You Don’t Eat’: Greek Farmers Ride Some 200 Tractors to Athens to Demand Financial Help (Vids)

ATHENS — Greek farmers rode Tuesday some 200 tractors to the capital, Athens, demanding financial help from the government as cost of living spiked in the Mediterranean country.

NICOSIA - Ten years after Cypriot banks confiscated nearly half the amount of bank accounts over 100,000 euros ($107,990) to prevent collapse, a court on Cyprus rejected six joint lawsuits from companies who lost assets.

ATHENS - With Greece a hotspot tourist destination in 2023 and people traveling with the waning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s hotels had a 23 percent increase in turnover, raking in 10.

ATHENS - With a shortage of doctors, anesthesiologists, and other staff, surgeries have backed up so much in Greece that a plan for them to be done in the afternoons has been put in place.

ATHENS - In a ninth year of seeing refugees and migrants coming - first hoping to reach other European countries before borders were closed to them - Greece is dealing with an uptick in the numbers seeking asylum.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.