Cyprus Investment Program

The Cyprus Government has approved the criteria necessary for granting the Cyprus Investment Program in an effort to encourage foreign direct investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus.

The main factors that make Cyprus an attractive destination for investment are the following:

  • Cyprus is a member of the European Union which gives you access to travel, live, work study and invest within the EU.
  • Cyprus has one of the lowest income tax rates in the EU at a competitive 12.5 percent.
  • Cyprus has one of the lowest crime rates in the EU and was voted safest Country in the World with a population under 5 million.
  • Cyprus has a strategic geographical location forming a bridge between the EU, Middle East and North Africa with direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Cyprus has an excellent Educational System with free Education in Public Schools and much lower tuition fees in EU Universities.
  • Cyprus has a technologically advanced health care system and with free health insurance at state hospitals.
  • Cyprus has one of the best climates in the world of which it enjoys an average of 340 days of abundant sunshine a year.
  • Cyprus has ranked first in Europe for the ratio of beaches that received the “Blue Flag” to the total number of beaches in the country and was also crowned ‘Cleanest Bathing Waters in Europe.’
  • English is widely spoken and most legal documents are available in both Greek and English.
  • Cyprus accepts dual citizenships.

Requirements and Conditions

1.Examination period of citizenship applications under the Program: 6 months

2. A € 2 million (plus VAT if any) – Investment in a single Residence. A single property to be used as a residence at a minimum value of €2 million (plus VAT if any). The residence must be retained by the investors for a period of 3 years. After 3 years the Investor has the right to sell his/her property and buy another one at a minimum value of €500,000 (plus VAT if any).

3. A €2 million (plus Vat if any) Investment in a selection of Residential Properties, out of which one property is to be used as a privately-owned permanent residence of a minimum value of €500,000 (plus VAT if any). The remaining €1.5 million can be invested in a range of residential properties, which may be resold after 3 years.

4. A €2 million investment in the equity or bonds of companies for use in approved projects plus a residential property to be used as a privately-owned permanent residence of a minimum value of €500,000 plus VAT.

5. The Investors parents may apply for citizenship aſter the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship. They need to hold a permanent privately owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000 (plus VAT if any).

6.It is noted the investor and his/her parents may collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total of this home – property is at least €1.000.000 (plus VAT if any).

7.The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalization.

8.The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years as from the date of the naturalization.

9.The program applies to the immediate family of the applicant i.e the spouse or partner and dependent children up to the age of 28 if full time university students and for children with severe physical or mental disability.

10.Applicants must hold a clear criminal record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if different).

The most significant modifications are as follows:

An annual quota of 700 applications is introduced (as from 2018).
The expected period for the examination of each application is now 6 months.

A newly set-up “Committee of Supervision and Control” for the Cyprus Investment Program (consists of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Interior and the non-profit company Invest Cyprus) is established to monitor the smooth implementation of the Cyprus

Investment Program

Investors must keep their investment for a minimum of 3 years, as was the case before the changes. Nevertheless, in case the investment is made in real estate that is under development, the 3-year period begins to count from the day the Town Planning Permit of the related real estate is issued. In the case where the Town Planning Permit exists as at the time of the application, the minimum period of 3 years begins to count from the date of issuance of the naturalization certificate.

As from 1st August 2018, all applicants must submit a report containing the results of due diligence report from an internationally recognized and accredited firm (e.g. World Check, LexisNexis Diligence, Regulatory DataCorp Inc, etc.). The report must be dated not later than 30 days from the date of its submission.

Further reading

CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAM: AMENDMENTS TO THE SCHEME

The Council of Ministers approved the following amendments to the Scheme, effective as of 13/02/2019. (in full effect 15/5/2019).

  1. The investor must make a donation amounting to €75,000 to the “Research Promotion Foundation”.
  2. The investor must make a donation amounting to €75,000 to the “Cyprus Land Development Corporation”.
  3. The investor is required to maintain their investment for the period of at least 5 years from the date of naturalization, previously the investor had to maintain their investment for at least 3 years.
  4. The investor can replace the investment, within the period of 5 years upon prior approval from the Ministry of Finance.
  5. Investment made in the Cyprus shipping industry will be considered as eligible criterion for the Cyprus Investment Program (CIP).
  6. The investor can now also make an investment in Registered Alternative Investments Organizations (UCITS), the UCITS will have the right/option to invest up to € 200,000 in the secondary markets of the Cyprus Stock Exchange.
  7. In case where residential property is acquired, and had already been used for the purposes of the Cyprus Investment Program (CIP), the investment amount increases from €2m to €2.5m.
  8. The investment in Government bonds has been abolished.
  9. In case the investor invests in real estate development & infrastructure projects, the following documents must be provided to the authorities:
    i) Planning permit;
    ii) Certificate of Completion, duly executed by the architect of the project;
    iii) In case where the property is under construction, at least 5% of the total value of the property must be blocked via a bank guarantee, the relevant amount will only be released to the Vendor upon completion of the property;
    iv) In case where there is a mortgage on the property to be acquired, a bank waiver letter must be in place.
  10. The applicant must be a holder of a valid Schengen visa.
  11. In the event that the applicant has submitted an application to another Member State for citizenship and the application has been rejected, the investor will not be able to apply for the Cyprus Investment Program.
  12. The applicant should be in possession of a residence permit in Cyprus for at least 6 months before the naturalization as a Cypriot citizen. Applicant must hold a privately owned residence of at least €500,000 + VAT. (included in the €2m investment).

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