By Ben Xu, Immigration team associate at Irwin Mitchell

With increasing number of countries offering citizenship by investment schemes, the Cypriot Government has recently announced that it will scrap its controversial scheme (referred to as the Golden Passport) as of 1 November 2020 following a political scandal.

Undercover reporters from Al Jazeera released footage of House president Demetris Syllouris and Akel MP Christakis Giovanis allegedly promising to back the visa for a made-up Chinese businessman with a criminal record.

This sudden move raises many questions for non EU investors and their advisors. What are the effects of this policy? Would this affect investors who have already acquired their citizenship through the scheme? Would there be a replacement scheme similar to the current scheme?

It's also possible there will be a rush of applications to be submitted before the new rules come into play, which prompts concerns over legitimate investors being able to access the scheme in time - despite playing by the rules.

It is also no doubt a huge blow to the Cypriot economy which generated €7 billion Euros for the country since its inception in 2007.

If you'd like to know more about our immigration work, please click here.