The opinions of the parties in Cyprus regarding the announcement of the names of applicants for a residence permit through investment are divided

As you remember, in Cyprus they seriously took up the tightening of the rules for issuing a residence permit in exchange for investment.

As you remember, in Cyprus they seriously took up the tightening of the rules for issuing a residence permit in exchange for investment. The local authorities were prompted to such a decision by the recommendations of the European Commission. Accordingly, one of the requirements is the most deep and detailed study of applicants, as well as the sources of their financial resources.

But more recently, the Cyprus Data Protection Commissioner, Irini Nikolaidou, announced that she was against the disclosure of the names of foreign investors. Although the country's Parliament has already submitted a bill on the publication of the names of applicants for the "Golden Visa", which, according to the authors, will increase the transparency of the program in accordance with the EU recommendations.

The situation in the Cyprus property market at the moment is as follows: before the introduction of tougher amendments to the Golden Visa program, sales were actively growing on rumors around the imminent tightening, and immediately after the start of the change activation, experts noted a drop in sales.

Last April, the Cyprus Parliament had already rejected one of the bills concerning the publication of the names of investors in a special government newspaper. Now parliamentarians are waiting for a new wave of debate on this topic.

According to the Commissioner, full transparency in such a matter as investments is impossible. It can be applied in some extreme cases, but in most cases it can harm not only the country's international relations, but also the economy, the state's defense capability, and the interests of society. In his reasoning, Commissioner Loizidou refers to the fifth article of the EU data protection regulation, which refers to the possibility of disclosing personal information. In particular, the GDPR states that all personal data that is collected for further processing must be adequate to the situation and the purposes for which they are collected.

According to a number of experts who have been working seriously on the real estate market of the republic for a long time, even after the changes already made, the “Golden Visa” program has generally retained its best points. At the moment, we can say that the amendments made, according to the EU recommendations, have rather influenced the situation in terms of improving the quality of customer protection and reducing risks. For example, until May 15, an applicant for a residence permit could only provide a document on construction plans, risking paying for one project and receiving another as a result. Now this risk is out of the question. Yet the debate that follows is rather cosmetic.

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