Cyprus received over €2bn over the past two years from the property-for-residency scheme, Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos said on Tuesday.
The scheme allows third-country nationals to obtain permanent residence in Cyprus if they buy property costing at least €300,000.
“This plan amongst others, have brought the Republic €2bn and more these past two years.” Hasikos said.
Other schemes include foreigners depositing €2m into the state treasury to purchase shares or bonds with the state-run investment company and also donating €0.5m towards the government’s Research and Technology fund.
Another way is for applicants to invest at least €5m in projects ranging from the purchase of houses, offices, shops and hotels provided the real estate is put to use. Foreign nationals who purchase companies that were founded and were active on the island or else bought shares in companies registered in Cyprus are also eligible for citizenship.
Another option requires applicants to have deposits or own a company of which he is the main beneficiary of up to €5m in a local bank for at least the last three years.
Hasikos refused to submit details on the number of people who received citizenship saying it violated personal data, referring only to the total cash the scheme generated.
During a House watchdog committee which he was attending, MPs wanted to see numbers and information on the scheme that was launched two years ago, effectively allowing people to buy Cypriot citizenship. “These things cannot be made public nor can we give parliament information relating to personal data that we might see published in the media. I also said that if they [MPs] want, they can come to the ministry and there, staff can show them everything.”