As apart of its policies aiming to further encourage Foreign Direct Investment andto attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus theCouncil of Ministers, on the 13th ofSeptember 2016, revised the “CyprusInvestment Program” and, thus, established the new criteria and termsbased on which non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/ investors and members of theirfamilies may submit applications in accordance with the provisions of the “Program”.
The Council of Ministers, as a part of its efforts for the further improvement ofthe “Cyprus Investment Program” on the 9.1.2018and 21.5.2018 decided theestablishment of the Committee for Supervision and Control as well as of the“Registry of Service Providers for the Cyprus Investment Program.”
Accordingto the above resolutions from the 1.8.2018and onwards applications will only be able to be submitted by Service Providersthat are included in the «Registry» on the basis of an improved procedure.
Ourlaw firm fully complies with the new provisions of the improved program and isone of the Registered Service Providers for the Cyprus Investment Program, withregistration number 216 on the list of approved Service Providers which ispublished by the Committee of Supervision and Control for the Cyprus InvestmentProgram at http://cipregistry.mof.gov.cy/gr/
Inorder to participate in Cyprus Investment Program, on the basis of the Scheme,a third-country national, must meet one of the following economic criteria:
– Investment of at least €2,0 million in real estate, landdevelopment and infrastructure projects. Any application which includes resaleproperty already used for a previous Cyprus Investment Program application byother applicant, increases the amount of investment for the New Application to €2,5 million.
– Purchase or Establishment orParticipation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses with investment costs of atleast €2 million + €500.000residential property.
– Investment of at least €2 million in Alternative InvestmentFunds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations thatare licensed by CySec + €500.000 residential property.
– The investor may proceed witha combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment willamount up to at least €2 million +€500.000 residential property.
– Investor and his familymembers should have Clean Criminal Record in order to be able to apply fornaturalization.
– Investor must not be includedin the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the EuropeanUnion, have been frozen as the result of sanctions.
– Investor must own residence inCyprus, the cost of which must be at least €500.000excluding VAT.
– Investor and his familymembers must have a Schengen visa in order to be ableto apply for naturalization.
– The applicant should be inpossession of a residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus for at least six (6)months prior to naturalization as a Cypriot citizen.
– A specialized foreign duediligence firm carry out all background checks on applicants and implementstricter criteria for approvals.
– An applicant who has appliedfor the acquisition of citizenship in any other Member State of the European Unionand has been rejected will not be entitled to acquire Cypriot citizenshipwithin the framework of the Cyprus Investment Program.
Inaddition to the qualifying investment criteria there are two new donationcomponents added to the revised Cyprus Investment Program that total €150,000:
– A donation of €75,000 to the Foundation for Researchand Innovation to promote the creation of an entrepreneurial innovation system
– A donation of €75,000 contribution to the LandDevelopment Agency to fund affordable housing initiatives.
Aplanning permit shall be mandatory for properties under construction as well ascertificate of completion. In the case of building a property it is necessaryto maintain an amount equal to 5% of the value in a special account or theequivalent bank guarantee from the seller of the property to the buyer(Performance Bank Guarantee) and Bank Waiver Certificate in case the propertyis mortgaged.
The qualifying investmentoptions will be ratified:
-Investments in the Shipping Industry will now be permitted.
-Government bonds will no longer qualify.
Theinvestment should be maintained for 5years following the date of naturalization, instead of 3 years. During the5-year period the investor will be able to change his investment, provided thata consent will be granted in this regard by the Ministry of Finance;
Investmentrequirement for residential properties is kept at €2.000.000. Investment in other sectors is €2.500.000. Any application which includes resale property alreadyused for a previous Citizenship application by other applicant, increases theamount of investment for the New Application to €2.500.000.