Cyclists look at boats in a marina near Limassol, a coastal town in southern Cyprus.

This small European country has made €4 billion by selling citizenship

€4 billion

Cyprus has made at least €4 billion ($4.7 billion) by selling Cypriot (and European) citizenship to foreigners over a four-year period, according to documents leaked to the Guardian.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Yorgos Karahalis
Cyclists look at boats in a marina near Limassol, a coastal town in southern Cyprus.
€4 billion

Cyprus launched a citizenship-by-investment program in 2013. It asks applicants to spend between €2 million and €2.5 million in properties, stocks, or bonds in the country.

Cyclists look at boats in a marina near Limassol, a coastal town in southern Cyprus.
€4 billion

In return for the investment, Cyprus gives them national citizenship (and therefore also European citizenship), allowing buyers to live and work in the country and anywhere in the bloc.

Cyclists look at boats in a marina near Limassol, a coastal town in southern Cyprus.
€4 billion

Cyprus managed to sell at least about 400 passports through the scheme in 2016.

Cyclists look at boats in a marina near Limassol, a coastal town in southern Cyprus.
€4 billion

Other countries have similar citizenship-by-investment programs, including Portugal, Malta, and various Caribbean islands.

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