Cyprus Investment Programme is available to investors in Cyprus pursuant to the Decision of the Council of Ministers dated 13th September 2016 issued as per Article 111A(2) of the Civil Registry Law 2002-2013, of the Republic of Cyprus. The newly renamed 'Cypriot Investment Programme' grants Cypriot citizenship to individuals who make a considerable investment to the country's economy, provided they satisfy both investment and eligibility criteria.
Amendments to the Cyprus Investment Programme
The revisions made to the Cyprus Investment Programme in 2016 made the programme more beneficial for investors and families. In virtue of this Law, the Cyprus Council of Ministers may grant citizenship by naturalisation to foreign entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Law provides for the granting of the Cypriot citizenship by investment to the spouse, children as well as parents of the investor.
Further amendments were introduced in 2018, and these can be summarised under three categories:
- A new cap of 700 applicants per year was introduced, starting from this year;
- Enhanced due diligence procedures will also be implemented and due diligence costs will be borne by applicants.
- The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme has been renamed and is known officially known as the 'Cypriot Investment Programme'.
Eligibility for Cyprus Investment Programme
Applicants for the Cyprus Investment programme must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- Main applicant must be at least 18 years of age
- Have a clean criminal record from their country of origin and/ or residence
- His/her name must not be included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU
- One visit is required to obtain biometrics and receive PR permit
- The investor must own a private residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase cost of which must exceed the amount of ?500,000 plus VAT and must be fully paid.
The Main applicant can include the following dependents within the same application as follows:
- Spouse or Partner (in a civil partnership) of the main applicant
- Children up to the age of 18
- Adult children up to the age of 28 who are unmarried, economically dependent on the main applicant and also in an educational institution.
- Parents of the main applicant provided that an additional ?500,000 minimum investment is made in residential property
Investment requirement under the Cyprus Investment Programme
To qualify for citizenship under the programme, an applicant must satisfy one of the following investments:
- ?2 million investment in residential real estate which must be held for a minimum of 3 years, after which the investment may be reduced to ?500,000, which must be held indefinitely.
- Combination of real estate and/or other investments with a minimum investment of ?2 million.
- Investment in an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) with activities in Cyprus.
- Participation or Establishment of a company in Cyprus wherein the investor invests ?2 million and employs at least five Cypriot/European nationals for at least five years.
An applicant may also choose a combination of any one of the above-mentioned options as long as the applicant purchases residential property of a minimum value of ?500,000 which must be held indefinitely, in addition to the ?2 million investment. The investor her can also invest ?500,000 in Cyprus Government Bonds.
Advantages of the Cyprus Investment Programme
Some of the benefits of the Cypriot investment programme include:
- Visa-free travel to over 163 countries
- No minimum physical residency during or after Citizenship is granted
- Cypriot citizenship in 6 months
- Dual citizenship allowed in Cyprus
- Right to live, work and do business in any EU member state
- Residency Permit Issued within 5 days of Application
- Simple and straightforward process
- No government donation required
- Cypriot citizenship is valid for life and transferable to dependants
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.