The cabinet on Friday approved an interior ministry proposal to review the criteria for the naturalisation of third country nationals.

According to Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou, the proposal is mainly aimed at strengthening control mechanisms for the investments of people who are granted citizenship.

At the same time, the income criteria for granting citizenship would be revised upwards.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, the minister said the decision to revise the interior ministry’s existing policy, which aimed to stimulate the real estate market and more broadly the economy, “was taken because it has become clear that certain provisions need to be re-evaluated”.

The revision of the criteria foresees stricter parameters in terms of the checks required, as well as defining control and verification mechanisms concerning the fast-tracking of immigration permits for third country nationals who invest in Cyprus, Ioannou said.

The goal is to “safeguard the process and eliminate weaknesses that were observed,” he said.

The differentiated criteria approved by the council of ministers provide that an applicant would be required to provide on an annual basis evidence that they continue to maintain their initial investment and the required income determined for themselves and their family, he explained.

“In cases where the holder of the immigration permit fails to provide the required documents, the permit for them and their family will be nullified,” the minister said.

He clarified that the threshold for investments will not change, but rather a control mechanism will be set up to maintain said investments, while the income criteria were also revised.

Thus, he clarified that for each person applying for citizenship the income should be €50,000, instead of €30,000, while for each minor child it should be €10,000, instead of €5,000, and €15,000 for spouses.

Finally, he noted that with this revision, citizenship will not be granted with one license to parents, in-laws and adult children.