Cyprus Investment Program
An English-speaking European Union and Commonwealth country and a portal to the EU
- Safe and clean environment with 330 days
- Attractive real estate prices for foreign investors
- Fast and simple procedure to acquire the Citizenship,
- The lowest tax for companies in the European Union (12.5%)
- High level of education and business facilities
Requirements and Qualifications to be met by the Main Applicant:
The Cyprus Investment program was amended on 13 September 2016, pursuant to a Decision of the Council of Ministers.
The new Decision aims to make a successful Citizenship by Investment program even more accessible and customized to the needs and conditions of the Cyprus and global economy.
Four major changes are introduced:
Firstly, the minimum investment barrier is reduced, enabling the investor to acquire a Cypriot passport on the basis of the purchase of a residence unit(s) inCyprus with a totalvalue of €2 million, instead of participating to a collective investment scheme with 2,5 million, as provided by the old Program. Investments in other real estate, businesses and funds are also eligible under the €2 million threshold, plus a residence unit of €0,5 million plus VAT, instead of €3 or €5 million provided by the old Program.
Secondly, the applicant investor must be the holder of a residence permit, in order to qualify for the acquisition of the passport. In practice, this amendment is expected to have minimal effect on the processing time for the acquisition of the passport; the applicant shall apply for a residence permit on the same day that he applies for the Program, while no citizenship qualifying period is introduced. The criteria for the acquisition of the residence permit are identical to those prescribed for the Program.
Thirdly, the parents of the applicant are eligible to obtain the citizenship, provided that they purchase a residence unit with a value of €0,5 million, plus VAT (if applicable).
Fourthly, the options to acquire the Passport through deposits in banks and as a result of the 2013 “haircut” are abolished, while a separate option is introduced allowing to invest €2 million to Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations licensed by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission.
Pursuant to the revised Program, Cypriot citizenship shall be acquired when a foreign investor/entrepreneur meets the requirements under one of the following four options:
Α.1 Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects
Theapplicant must have made an investmentof at least€2million for the purchaseorconstruction of buildings,or for the construction of other land development projects.
Mere purchase of land is included, provided that this land can be developed town planning-wise and a development investment plan is in place.
Α.2 Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies
Theapplicant must have made an investment of at least€2 million in the purchase, creation or participation inbusinessesorcompanies that are basedandoperatingin the Republic. Thesebusinesses orcompanies should have a tangiblepresencein Cyprusandemployat leastfive (5) Cypriot or EU citizens. A business plan should be in place, providing for the investment of the €2 million exclusively in Cyprus.
Α.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations licensed by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission
Theapplicant must have purchased units with a value of at least €2 million in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations licensed by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission. The investments of these funds or companies should be made exclusively in Cyprus.
Α.4 Combination of the aforementioned options
The applicant is required to have a combination of two or more options amounting to at least €2 million. For the purposes of this option, the investor may purchase special state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus with a value of at least €0,5 million.
Criterion A.1 shall remain the most popular and cost-effective option, enabling the investor to acquire a Cypriot passport on the basis of the purchase of a residence unit(s) inCyprus with avalue of €2 million provided that at least one of these residence units has a value of €0,5 million, plus VAT (if applicable).
Due diligence is further enhanced with the introduction of a provision enabling the Ministries involved to request a valuation from an independent chartered surveyor, as regards the value of the real estate purchased.
Persons related to the main applicant who acquire the Cypriot Citizenship with the same application
1. The Applicant,
2. His /her spouse,
3. His/her children under the age of 18,
4. Economically dependent adult descendants of the applicant up until the age of 28, who currently study at a University.
5. Adults economically dependent on the applicant, without any age limitation, who suffer from a heavy mental of physical handicap that makes them incapable to work.
6. The parents of the applicant, provided that they purchase a residence unit with a value of Euro 0,5 mil. plus VAT, if applicable.
The procedure to get the Cypriot passport is completed in only 6 months starting from the day of submission of a duly completed application.
The Cyprus Economic Citizenship Program has, as of the 21st May 2018 Decision of the Council of Ministers, been renamed to “Cyprus Investment Programme”. New regulations set in May and June 2018 are aiming to improve and modernise the program:
§ An expert Committee of Supervision and Control is being established which will play the role of the regulator of the process.
§ As of July 31 2018, any applications for the Cyprus Investment Programme may be submitted on behalf of the applicants only by persons registered with the Registry of Service Providers (Registry). All applications must be accompanied by a service provider’s and an applicant’s Self-Declaration form.
§ A new Code of Conduct, which sets the professional ethics that need to be followed by all service providers dealing with the Program.
§ There is now a prohibition on advertising and publicly promoting the program, even via the internet.
§ The Council of Ministers has set a limit to accepting applications at 700 per year starting from 2018 and has determined the minimum expected time of examining the application submitted at six months.
§ The period of three years of maintaining the investment, in the case of a property purchase, will now begin after the issue of a town planning permit and each application shall be subject to reinforced due diligence procedures for which the charge will be borne by the applicant.