After the U.K. stopped its immigration scheme by investment, on 7th December 2018, the Cyprus News Agency said that the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus was considering hiring professional firms to carry out due diligence on investors applying for Cypriot citizenship by investment.
The due diligence will include verification of the applicant's ID and analysis of the company's history. What's more, credit, source of income/ wealth and compliance record are also under review.
In May of this year, Cyprus introduced
a new policy. The number of applicants is limited to 700, and the main
applicants are asked to provide a due diligence report. After half a year, new
requirements are put forward. Due diligence is required for the whole family. In
February next year, the European Parliament will vote to decide whether to
retain the immigration schemes realized by investment or not. Even if these schemes
are not completely shut down, the application requirements will be stricter
than before. What is more, it is estimated that at that time, new policy will
be fully implemented within three months after the vote, that is, fully
implemented in next May.
If clients sign the contract and apply for a visa in December, go for inspection in January, then spend 2-3 months on money transfer and document preparation, the time will almost be next May. Therefore, the time will be very tight for them.
Now, the EU has enhanced the supervision comprehensively, and related bills are even being drafted to cancel the Golden Visa and EU Passport. The increasing number of news mentioning the tightening policy indicate that the EU passport programs will possibly be cancelled one day. If clients do have the intention to apply for an EU passport, please seize the opportunity and submit the application before the new policy is official launched. Problems caused by due diligence and even the policy on cancelling the EU passport can therefore be avoided.
Other changes in immigration policies in various countries this year:
The United States: The Dates for Filing of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is stretched to 15 years.
Australia: Skilled worker immigrants are required to live in remote area for 5 years; applicants who do not get IELTS band 7 in all four parts are almost impossible to be approved; with the increase of applications through investment, there is a trend that the dates for filing will be stretched.
Canada: The policy of PEI immigration program is changed, applicants should obtain a work permit before they obtain the permanent resident status.
The United Kingdom: The investor visa obtained by an investment of GBP 2,000,000 on the United Kingdom Government Bonds is stopped from 7th December 2018. In future, applicants should invest more on company instead of the United Kingdom Government Bonds.
Greece: The application fee increases; as there are more and more applicants, the housing price in Athens also increases.
ST. Kitts and Nevis: The number of applications increases, and the processing time is extended; fingerprints are required for due diligence, and due diligence will become stricter.
Ireland: According to the government, the financing funds will not be included in applicants' investment.
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