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Amendments to the Cyprus Investment Programme

8 March 2019 Immigration Law

AMENDMENDS TO THE CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAMME

On the 13th of February 2019 the Council of Ministers revised the Cyprus Investment Programme.  

According to the decision of the Council of Ministers, the revised Programme is effective from the date of its publication in the Government Gazette –  the 26th of February 2019, with exception of certain clauses that will be effective as of the 15th of May 2019.

Amendments with immediate effect 

(26.02.2019-14.05.2019)

Amendments with effect as of 

15th of May 2019

1.1 The Applicant has to maintain the investments for a period of at least 3 years as of the date of the naturalization.

The Council of Ministers added the provision that the investor may replace the investment during the said period, provided that the Applicant has prior obtained an approval by the Ministry of Finance.

The Applicant is obliged to maintain the investments for a period of at least 5 years as of the date of the naturalization.

The Applicant may replace the investment during the said five-year period, provided that he has prior obtained an approval by the Ministry of Finance

1.2 An additional condition has been added: The Applicant, who has submitted an application for acquisition of citizenship in any other member-state of the European Union which has been rejected, is not eligible to apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through the Cypriot Investment Programme.

The Applicant has to provide to the Authorities an additional Declaration in respect to any citizenship applications he may have submitted in any other member-state or member-states of the European Union.

It will continue to be in effect and after the 14th of May 2019.

A new economic criterion has been added:

A.1. Donation to the “Research and Innovation Foundation” and the “Cyprus Land Development Corporation”:

The Applicant must have donated at least:

a)       €75.000 to the “Research and Innovation Foundation”; and

b)      €75.000 to the “Cyprus Land Development Corporation” for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing, but also for the materialization of other housing schemes/measures.

If the Applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000, the additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment.

1.3 In respect to thefinancially dependent adult children, the submission of a due diligence report is mandatory.

It will continue to be in effect and after the 14th of May 2019.

The Applicant must hold a valid Schengen visa. Third-Country nationals that do not require an entry visa for travelling in European Union member-states, as well as citizens of European Union Member States are excluded from this obligation.

The above applies to the adult family members of the Applicant as well.

1.4 The Applicant prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for a period of at least 6 (six) months.

The six-month period commences on the date of issuance of the permanent residence permit card (PRP card).

It will continue to be in effect and after the 14th of May 2019.

In respect to the condition that the Applicant must maintain a residential property, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. and in case the Applicant had proceeded with an investment in housing units, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000, plus VAT, the following condition has been added:

If the Applicant has invested in housing units that have already been used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Programme, the above provision will be in force provided that the total amount of the investments, including the privately-owned residence, is at least €2,5 million.

1.5 In respect to the criterion Α.2 (Investment in Cypriot Companies):

a)       investments in the shipping sector are eligible on the basis of measurable criteria that will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry.

b)      Regarding the employees of the Cypriot Companies, the condition that the employees have to reside in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application has been abolished.

It will continue to be in effect and after the 14th of May 2019.

As to the documents in respect to the acquisition of a privately-owned residence depending on the case the following additional documents have to be provided to the Authorities:

(a) An evaluation certificate from an independent registered land surveyor, if it is required by the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Finance.

(b) Town-planning permit, provided that it is required by the Town and Country Planning Law.

(c) Declaration by the mortgage lender in the benefit of whom the purchased property or properties is mortgaged that will waive the mortgage, provided that the investor or the seller will pay the lender the amount prescribed in the declaration (bank waiver). (d) Completion certificate signed by the architect of the project. If the purchased property is under construction it is required either to maintain an amount equal to the 5% of the purchase value in a special account or for the seller to issue in the benefit of the purchaser a performance bank guarantee equal to the 5% of the purchase value.

1.6. Regarding the criterion A.3. (Investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIF)):

a)       investments in Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) are also permitted.

b)      Moreover, it has been added that these AIFs or RAIFs may proceed with an investment in secondary market stock-market values of the Cyprus Stock Exchange in the amount that does not exceed the €200.000.

It will continue to be in effect and after the 14th of May 2019.

 

1.7 As to the criterion A.4 (Combination of criteria): governmental bonds have been abolished as an option to invest in.

It will continue to be in effect and after the 14th of May 2019.