On 25 July 2019 the Council of Ministers has decided a number of amendments to the Cyprus Citizenship Programme, which aims to exclude politically exposed persons from the right to apply for the acquisition of the Cyprus citizenship.
The decision was taken due to an increasing demand to protect the country against high-risk individuals and has been published in the Official Gazette and brought into effect as of 23 August 2019.
A politically exposed person (PEP) includes the following categories of individuals:
- Persons having a prominent public function.
- Persons who have had a prominent public function the last five years.
- Persons subject to criminal investigation without having been accused.
- Persons subject to prosecution who have been charged.
- Persons convicted to imprisonment for serious offences (e.g. bribery by a public person, tax evasion, etc.) and the sentenced has been barred.
- Persons affiliated with legal entities to which sanctions have been imposed by the European Union (EU) e.g. shareholders or persons in the senior management of companies included in the list of sanctions.
- Persons who have been affiliated with legal entities to which sanctions have been imposed by the European Union (EU), but which they are no longer affiliated with e.g. former members of the senior management of companies included in the list of sanctions, which have been affiliated with the specific companies when the sanctions were imposed. It is provided that, even if during the time of the imposition of the sanctions they were no longer affiliated, the application will be dismissed. Those who have ceased affiliation before the imposition of the sanctions are excluded.