Cyprus golden visa changes come into force amid ongoing passport trial 

The Cyprus government has unveiled new rules for its golden visa scheme which take effect from today (2 May).

Ministry of Interior minister Constantinos Ioannou said last week the changes were necessary "to eliminate weaknesses" in the existing criteria.

The minimum investment for the investor permanent residency scheme is unchanged at €300,000 in property or in a company based in Cyprus employing at least five people.

But the new rules do mean that applicants are required to prove on an annual basis that they have maintained their investment as well as meet the bar of a required income for themselves and their family.

The applicant must also evidence an annual income of at least €50,000 per year, up from the current €30,000.

Another key change sees the removal of granting permanent residency for parents and in-law's after the €300,000 investment in property.

However, the spouse of the investor can get permanent residency and children if they are under age 18.

Unmarried children aged between 18-25 can obtain one if they can prove they are in higher education and their parents can present an additional €10,000 for every dependent.

Spouses of the investor can be naturalised if they can evidence an annual income of at least €15,000 per year.

According to the Cyprus Mail, applications will be approved by the interior minister with the process lasting two months, with a €500 fee comes with every application as well as €70 for every dependant. All applicants must have a clear criminal record.

Meanwhile, local media has reported updates on the high profile Cyprus golden visa trial involving four defendants, namely former House president Demetris Syllouris, former Akel MP and developer Christakis Giovani, senior lawyer for the Giovani Group Antonis Antoniou, and lawyer Andreas Pittadjis.

Proceedings are now set to continue on 15 May, centred on five charges including conspiracy to defraud the Republic and influencing a public official in violation of the laws criminalising corruption.

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