Cyprus Mail

Lawyers dominate unveiled Golden Visa registry

The committee supervising Cyprus’s Golden Visa programme unveiled on Tuesday the registry of service providers, which includes 255 entities and individuals.

The registry includes 133 lawyers, law firms, advocates and legal services providers, 20 administrative service providers, 19 accounting, auditing and tax service providers, 19 real estate and land development companies, and other corporate, citizen and migration service and consultancy providers.

The Committee of Supervision of the Cyprus Investment Programme, as it is officially known, was introduced with a council of ministers’ decision in June and was tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Golden Visa programme. The registered service providers will have to compete for the up to 700 Golden Visas the government will grant to non-Cypriots investing at least €2 million on the island.

Registered service providers are required to comply with a code of conduct which bans them from actively advertising the Cypriot passport as a product and need to apply specific anti-money laundering practices, including know-your-customer’s-customer.

According to official documents leaked earlier this year, a total of 148 entities, mainly law firms and corporate and accounting services providers, helped foreign investors acquire a Cypriot passport. The figure also included firms with family links to the ruling elite, including current and former members of the government and parliament.

The registry includes all four major auditing firms and law firms linked to active politicians, such as Nicos Chr. Anastasiades & Partners LCC linked to President Nicos Anastasiades and Tassos Papadopoulos & Associates LLC, linked to Diko chairman Nicholas Papadopoulos

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