On 6 November 2019, the Council of Ministers in Cyprus decided to annul 26 foreign investors and family members of their Cypriot citizenship, which were obtained under the Cyprus Investment Programme as they were found to violate the required criteria.
The Cabinet reaffirmed the Government’s willingness to strictly adhere to the criteria, terms and conditions that govern the Cyprus Investment Programme, as well as the overall conduct of enhanced due diligence checks and generally to the more rigorous implementation of the entire framework and procedures governing it. They also initiated the process of withdrawing the citizenships of the Republic of Cyprus which were granted to 26 persons and family members.
The Cypriot government also established a committee to examine the rest of the applications filed up to the end of 2018 consisting of the Auditor General, the Chair of the Cyprus Securities Commission and a representative of the State Legal Services. The Committee will examine the results of the new checks and will submit a report and conclusions to the Council of Ministers. The Committee will also examine how the cases for which the denaturalisation process will begin by the Council of Ministers, including the 26 aforementioned applications, were approved according to the applicable regulations and criteria at the time of their approval. Moreover, the Committee will be able to make suggestions and recommendations for the further improvement of the Cyprus Investment Programme.
The Minister of Interior added that the programme which was introduced in 2018 is continuously rechecked. He further noted that "because the above tools were not available at the start, applications that were approved without these tools will be subject to stricter scrutiny through this programme."
The press release can be found here.