The Republic of Cyprus’ investment-for-citizenship program proved to be the second most popular scheme of the sorts amid the global pandemic, with new citizenship applications during the first quarter of 2020 marking a 75% increase compared to the same period last year.
The popularity of the Cyprus ‘golden passports’ program was second only to that of Montenegro, where applications for citizenship in exchange for investment under the terms of the program there recorded a surge to the tune of 142%, CNN travel reported earlier this week.
According to the report, the growing industry of investment migration has meant that against the backdrop of the pandemic that saw countries across the globe shut their borders, the super-rich were able to buy their way across.
The report said the pandemic may be a motivating factor for elites to seek alternative citizenship, which in addition to providing freedom of movement, tax benefits, and other lifestyle perks, also offers the opportunity for the rich to secure better healthcare and residence at coronavirus ‘safe havens’.
After receiving firm criticism, Cyprus moved to lay down stricter rules for its scheme, which requires investors to shell out €2 million into the Cypriot economy and buy a residence worth at least €500,000.