he Cyprus Government has announced the revised criteria for granting the Cypriot citizenship by investment which are significantly improved compared to the previous ones, therefore, making Cyprus an even more attractive option.
The most important changes are as follows:
- The minimum investment required is reduced to €2,0 million compared to the previous €2,5 million for collective investment schemes and €5.0 million for individual schemes.
- Collective Investment Schemes are abolished and any investor can apply individually.
- The investment in government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus is restricted to €500.000.
- The applicant must be a holder of a Cyprus Residency Permit to qualify for receiving the Cyprus Citizenship, however, an application for a Residence Permit can be submitted to the authorities together with filing the Citizenship application.
- The investor’s parents are now entitled to apply for Cyprus Citizenship provided that they own a permanent residence in Cyprus of at least €500,000 or they jointly own with the investor a residence of at least €1,000,000.
There are four investment options:
- Real estate and land developingThe investor should purchase properties (residential or commercial) in Cyprus of at least €2,0 million (excluding VAT if applicable) or invest the same amount in the development of real estate projects (residential and commercial projects, investments in the hotel industry and so on).
- Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companiesThe investor should invest at least €2,0 million in the purchase, creation, or participation in local companies which operate in Cyprus. Such companies should have physical presence in Cyprus, substantial activity and turnover and they should employ at least 5 Cypriot or EU citizens who have been legally residing in Cyprus for at least the previous 5 years.
- Investment in alternative investment funds (AIFs) or in financial assets of Cypriot businesses and organizations which are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange CommissionThe investor should invest at least €2,0 million for the purchase of units in AIFs or of financial assets (such as bonds and debentures) of Cypriot businesses and organizations.Qualifying AIFs should be based in Cyprus and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, they should exclusively invest their funds in Cyprus in fields which are allowable under the present citizenship program or in any other field approved by the Minister of Finance.Qualifying financial assets should be issued by businesses or organizations which are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and have physical presence and substantial financial activity in Cyprus. Furthermore, the funds raised from qualifying financial assets should be used exclusively for investments in Cyprus.
- Combination of the abovementioned optionsUnder this option, investors may invest at least €2,0 million in any combination of options 1, 2 or 3 above. This option also allows investments in governmental bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of a maximum amount of €500.000.
Please note that investors should also:
- Have a clean criminal record
- Own a permanent residence in Cyprus of a minimum value of €500,000
- Hold a Cyprus residence permit. For this purpose, an application for a residence permit can be submitted simultaneously with the Citizenship application.
Regarding the permanent residence:
- In the case of investments exclusively in residential property, the permanent residence can be any of the properties purchased under investment option 1 above provided that it is of a minimum value of €500,000.
- In all other cases investors should also purchase a permanent residence of a minimum value of €500,000 in addition to the €2,0 million main investment which is the minimum requirement under investment options 1, 2, 3 or 4 above. If the permanent residence is worth more than €500,000, the difference can count towards the €2,0 million main investment requirement.
Investments should be held for at least three years with the exception of the permanent residence of at least €500.000 that should be kept indefinitely, unless it is substituted with another property of an equal or greater value. The remaining investments can be realized at any time after three years.