Cyprus: The New Criteria Of The Cyprus Investment Program

Last Updated: 25 March 2019
Article by Eleni Drakou

The Cyprus Investment Program (CIP) has been recently revised in order to be further regulated as well as to contribute to the research and development and to provide for housing schemes.

The new criteria of the CIP have been approved by the Council of Ministers on the 13th of February 2019 and have been published in the Cyprus Gazette on the 26th of February 2019. The revised CIP is effective as of the date of the publication in the Government Gazette, however, some of the changes shall become effective on the 15th of May 2019.

It is important to note that as of the 26th of February 2019, citizens who have applied to obtain the citizenship of another EU member state and have been rejected, will not be eligible to apply for the CIP.

As of the 15th of May 2019 and onwards:

  1. The investor should maintain the investment for a period of 5 years from the date of naturalization (instead of 3 years).
  2. The main applicant should make a donation of minimum EUR 75.000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation, unless the main applicant invests:

             i.      at least EUR 75.000 in a certified innovative enterprise (i.e. an enterprise that had acquired the relevant certificate by the Ministry of Finance) or in a certified social enterprise,or

           ii.      a total amount equal to the 20% of the overall required investment amount (i.e. EUR 400.000) in a Cyprus company whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (excluding constructions), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources.

Any donation exceeding this amount (EUR 75.000) shall be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment.

  1. The applicant should donate at least EUR 75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing, but also for the materialization of other housing schemes/measures. It is noted that if the applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of EUR 75.000, this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the overall investment.
  2. The main applicant should hold a valid Schengen visa (in case that a visa is required to enter European Union member states). The same applies for the investor's adult family members that are eligible to apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship.
  3. In case that the main applicant chooses to invest solely in one or more residential units the minimum amount of EUR 2.000.000, the main applicant is not required to invest EUR 500.000 in another residence, provided that at least one of the residential units will be kept for life and is priced at minimum EUR 500.000. In case that the residential units have been used previously for the CIP, the minimum overall investment amount increases to EUR 2.500.000 (including the main residence).
  4. A Planning Permit must be secured for immovable properties (in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Law).
  5. A bank waiver letter must be provided in case that the property has mortgage.
  6. If the property's construction is completed, a Completion Certificate must be provided, while if the property is under construction, a specific account should be used, or a Performance Bank Guarantee should be secured, for an amount equal to 5% of the property's value.

The new categories of investment of the CIP are as follows:

A.1.        Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation (as above, as of the 15th of May 2019)

A.2.        Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects

A.3.        Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses

A.4.        Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or Registered Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission

A.5.        Combination of the aforementioned investments

It is noted that investing in Government Bonds is no longer available.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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