Cyprus Investment Programme

 

Cyprus Investment Program


Why Cyprus?


A European Union and Eurozone country in a strategic position, serving as a base for business expansion to Europe and the Middle East.

EU passport and visa free travel to 171 countries.

Strong economy and the lowest taxation in the EU (12,5% corporate tax).

A Commonwealth country with a business friendly Common Law legal system based on English law.

One of the lowest social security and national health system contributions in the EU (21%).

Modern infrastructure, high speed telecommunications and transport.

High Level of professional services with low cost.

Access to both EU and Domestic grant schemes.

Perfect location for conferences and other business events.


Requirements and Qualifications to be met by the Main Applicant:


On the 13th February 2019, the Council of Ministers proceeded with further changes to the Cyprus Economic Citizenship Program (CIP) in order to encourage investments in additional economic sectors and enhance due diligence procedures. The changes,having effect as of the 15th May 2019, are:

- Two compulsory donations of:

€75.000 to the Research Promotion Foundation. There are some exceptions on this point for investors who have already invested same amount in companies that have been certified as innovative or social, or €400.000 under investment criterion A3 in companies with activities in the economic sector, research and technology, education, health and renewable energy sources.

€75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.

Any amount donated in excess of the €75.000 will be deducted from the amount to be invested under the existing investment criteria A2-A5.

- Investments in the shipping industry and in Registered Alternative Investment Funds will be new available types of investment under the CIP.

- When a residential property is re-used as part of a new investment, the new investment must be one of €2,5m instead of €2m.

- The investment must be maintained for a period of 5 instead of 3 years, with the right to replace it upon approval from the Ministry of Finance.

- When the investment is being made in real estate the authorities must be provided with a planning permit, a completion certificate by the architect, a performance bank guarantee, and a waiver from the mortgagor (if applicable).

- The applicant must be a holder of a valid Schengen visa (not applicable for EU citizens and citizens of countries for which an entrance visa is not required).

- A person will not be able to apply if he has already applied for citizenship and was rejected in any other EU member state.

- An annual report issued by the authorities will illustrate the total number of citizenships given, the nationality of the applicants and the sectors to which the investments have been directed.


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

Α.2 Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies

Α.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations licensed by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission

Α.4 Combination of the aforementioned options

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.

 

Time Frame


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.