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Iraqi investor becomes first to receive citizenship under new incentive scheme

Dozens of other applications being processed — minister

By Mohammad Ghazal - Apr 02,2018 - Last updated at Apr 02,2018

AMMAN — Approval was issued on Monday for an Iraqi investor to obtain Jordanian nationality under an incentives scheme introduced by the government recently, a government official said on  Monday.

A special ministerial committee involving all concerned authorities issued the approval for the Iraqi investor after he met all conditions to obtain citizenship after making a deposit in the Central Bank of Jordan and buying Treasury bonds, Minister of State for Investment Affairs and Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) Chairman Muhannad Shehadeh told The Jordan Times in a phone interview on Monday.

“The Iraqi investor will be the first investor to obtain citizenship under the new incentive system that we introduced in February of this year,” the minister added.

Approvals for other investors to obtain the Jordanian nationality will be issued in ten days, the minister said.

“The fastest track to obtain the nationality is through making a deposit in the CBJ and buying Treasury bonds…we are keen to ensure high efficiency in the implementation of this measure,” the minister stressed.

According to Shehadeh, the JIC had received 56 applications by Arab investors to obtain Jordanian nationality and permanent residency, following a recent Cabinet decision endorsing the new incentive system.

Of the total, 52 applied for obtaining nationality and four for permanent residency, the minister said, and of the total, 27 had received the necessary security approvals.

The applications were submitted by investors from various nationalities including Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian, Yemeni and Palestinian, working in the fields of tourism, industry and agriculture, according to the official.

Some of the applicants hold foreign nationalities, including European, American and Commonwealth counties.

Under the decision, investors were offered several options to become eligible for citizenship. They include a zero-interest, five-year $1.5 million deposit at the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), or buying Treasury bonds of the same value at an interest rate to be decided by CBJ for no less than ten years.

The third option is to buy securities worth $1.5 million from an active investment portfolio, or to invest $1 million in SMEs for at least five years to become a Jordanian national. 

Investors can also make a $2-million investment in any location in the country, or $1.5 million if the project is registered in a governorate other than Amman, provided that the project creates at least 20 job opportunities and remains operational for at least three years.

To obtain permanent residency, any non-Jordanian can buy property worth at least JD200,000 without selling or disposing it in any manner for a period of ten years, provided that the Lands and Survey Department confirms the property’s value.

An investor who obtains any of the mentioned two statuses will have the right to obtain a similar status for his/her spouse, unmarried, widowed or divorced daughters, sons below 18 years old and for their parents, if they are their sole supporters.

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