Changes to the Cyprus Investment Programme
The Cypriot Investment Programme (CIP) was established as part of the local government’s efforts to attract foreign investment to Cyprus. It encompasses a set of legislation and financial criteria that allows non-Cypriot high net worth individuals and investors, as well as their families, to obtain Cypriot citizenship through naturalization within six months.
Recently, the Ministers of Finance and Internal Affairs have recommended a series of modifications to the Cyprus Investment Program, in an effort to make it even more targeted and trustworthy, and these came into effect on 15 May 2019.
The changes to the Cyprus Investment Programme:
- There will be a limit of 700 applications per year.
- Applicants must be holders of a valid Schengen visa to be able to apply for naturalization.
- In cases where an applicant had previously submitted a Citizenship application in any other EU Member State and was rejected, he/she will not be permitted to apply for Cyprus Citizenship via the CIP.
- The applicant must make an investment of at least €2 million for the purchase or construction of buildings or other land development projects (residential or commercial), as per the original regulations.
- If the applicant has invested or is planning to invest in housing units that have already been used for the purposes of acquiring Citizenship via the CIP, the total investment amount, including the privately-owned residence, will need to be at least €2.5 million.
- Investors will be required to keep their investments for a period of at least 5 years from the date of naturalization (compared to the previous version of the Program, which stipulated that investors keep their investments for a period of at least 3 years).
- Should the investor wish to alter his investment in any way during the 5-year period, he or she is permitted to do so upon consent from the Ministry of Finance.
- The investment in Government bonds as an acceptable criterion in the Cyprus Investment Program, as per the previous regulations, has now been completely abolished.
- Investments made to the Cyprus shipping industry will be considered as an eligible criterion for the Cyprus Investment Program. Investors will still need to obtain a residence worth €500,000, which will need to be kept for life.
- In addition to the aforementioned conditions, investors will be required to make a mandatory donation of €75,000 in order to promote the creation of an entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem, as well as a mandatory donation of €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation aimed at contributing to the integrated housing policy.
- For investments relating to the purchase of real estate or property that is under construction, a planning permit is required.
- Cypriot citizenship can be granted to the spouse /partner of the investor and the investor’s parents, financially dependent adult children, and minor children (under the age of 18), via an application for Naturalization by Exception, which includes fees of €2,000 per person.
- In order for the parents of the investor to receive the passport, they must be in possession of a permanent residence in Cyprus, purchased for at least €500,000. The investor and his/her parents can jointly purchase one residence, provided that the purchase price is at least €1,000,000. Alternatively, the investor must increase his/her investment to the amount of at least €500,000 in order to allow for his/her parents to apply for a Cyprus Citizenship.
For more information on the Cyprus Investment Programme, and information on the investment solutions offered by Askanis Group, please contact us on [email protected] or call us on +357 25 336 171.