A LEGISLATIVE proposal is to be tabled to the House plenum in January aiming to give parliament a say in the criteria governing the issuing of passports to foreign nationals under the citizenship-by-investment scheme.
The bill, authored by the Greens, is expected to go before the plenary session on January 11, the first session following the Christmas recess.
It stipulates that the criteria for these naturalisations need to be submitted by the government to parliament, before they are published in the government gazette.
Currently, the terms and conditions for the citizenship-by-investment programme are determined by the cabinet, with no further scrutiny.
In prior discussions in parliament, the interior ministry said it was opposed to the Greens’ bill, arguing that it would deprive the government of the flexibility in periodically updating or revising the naturalisation scheme.
Ruling Disy said also they are against the provisions of the bill, while main opposition Akel are in favour.
The Greens tabled the proposal after another bill they had submitted – mandating the publishing of the names of foreign investors granted passports – failed to muster support in committee.
In October, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development placed Cyprus’ so-called ‘golden passport’ programme on a blacklist of schemes identified as posing a threat to international efforts to combat tax evasion.