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European Commission’s legal services to open negotiations with Cyprus over the country’s citizenship programme. After Maltese citizenship-by-investment programme was targeted over non-residency requirement, Cyprus and Austria might be next The EU legal services will be opening negotiations with Cyprus after negotiations with Malta over residency were concluded. Both Cyprus and Austria have citizenship schemes but none of these countries oblige their applicants to ‘have a proof’ of residency. Inside sources at the legal services confirmed that there was no obligation for the EU to impose a proof of residency, but political pressure from the European parliament led the legal services to take extraordinary action with Malta. It appears that during the negotiations with the Maltese delegation, the issue of Cyprus was raised and the legal services indicated to the delegation that Cyprus — which has had a citizenship scheme — would be targeted next. 4 February 2014 parliamentary secretary Owen Bonnici together with Peter Grech, the Attorney General, presented the amendments to the IIP legal notice published in the Government Gazette. According to a new legal notice regulating Maltese citizenship-by-investment programme, no certificate of naturalisation will be issued unless the main applicant provides proof that he has been a resident of Malta for at least 12 months preceding the day of the issuing of the certificate of naturalization. maltatoday.com.mt

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