On September 13th, 2016, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus launched an important update to the financial criteria for investors wishing to obtain Cypriot citizenship. The good news is that the criteria are far more favorable than before, as the amount of investment required has been reduced from €2 500 000 to €2 000 000.
In accordance with the revised procedure, there are several investment options, thus providing investors with greater choice.
Although the new criteria will have immediate effect, existing applicants will still have the opportunity to withdraw their applications and submit new ones based on the new criteria.
By October 31st, 2016, potential applicants will have the opportunity to choose which of the two schemes they would like to apply for, and as from November 1st only the new criteria will be valid in applications for Citizenship in Cyprus.
New Financial Criteria for granting Cypriot citizenship by investment:
Investment in Real estate and land developing projects:
Applicant has to invest at least €2 000 000 to purchase or build residential or commercial immovable property, that can be associated with the tourism sector or other infrastructure.
It should be noted that investment in land under development is included in this criterion, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land will be included in the application. However, land acquisition situated in a building zone of zero development is not considered a qualifying investment under this condition.
Purchasing, Registration or Participation in Cyprus enterprises and companies.
The applicant must invest at least €2 000 000 to either purchase, register or participate in businesses or companies established and operating on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.
Additionally, these businesses or companies should have a visible physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens who have legally resided in Cyprus for a continuous period of at least 5 years.
Investing in alternative investment funds (AIF’s) or financial assets or organizations in Cyprus, licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission “CYSEC”
Investing at least €2 000 000 in Alternative Investment Funds (AIF’s) established, licensed and controlled by CYSEC. Such investments must meet the criteria of the investment scheme and must also be approved by the Minister of Finance.
The applicant must have purchased financial assets of at least € 2.000.000, such as bonds, debentures or other securities, registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus in companies or organizations regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission “CYSEC”, with substantial economic activity and physical presence in Cyprus.
Combination of the above mentioned investment criteria:
- The applicant may choose to combine any of the above criteria, provided that the total amount of the investment is at least €2 000 000.
- Under this criterion, the applicant may also invest in government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus for an amount up to €500 000.
Other Terms and Conditions:
- The applicant must have a clean criminal record.
- The applicant should acquire a permanent residence in Cyprus with a value of at least €500 000 + VAT (This condition does not apply if the investment is in residential property)
- The applicant must be the holder of a residence permit in Cyprus before naturalization as a Cypriot citizen. If the investor is not already a permanent resident in Cyprus, an application for a residence permit should be submitted to the authorities simultaneously with the filing of the application for citizenship.
* More details about the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Scheme will be provided in the next edition of our newsletter.