Cyprus' Golden visa program, a scheme offering non European Union nationals residency in exchange for investments, raised the country some four billion euros last year, amounting to 25% of its total economy, Bloomberg reports.
This ranks Cyprus among the most successful countries in European running the residency scheme. Foreigners can become citizens in less than six months in Cyprus in exchange for at least 2 million euros of investments in property or 2.5 million euros in government bonds or companies.
In Greece, the bar is much lower, investments of more than 250,000 euros are needed for a five year residency to be offered to a foreign investor.
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Since 2013, when Cyprus launched the Golden visa program, the country has issued some 2,000 passports. Mostly Russian and Chinese investors have qualified for these passports.