CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAM

As a part of its policies aiming to further encourage Foreign Direct Investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus the Council of Ministers, on the 13th of September 2016, revised the “Cyprus Investment Program” and, thus, established the new criteria and terms based on which non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/ investors and members of their families may submit applications in accordance with the provisions of the “Program”.

Moreover, the Council of Ministers, as a part of its efforts for the further improvement of the “Cyprus Investment Program” on the 9.1.2018 and 21.5.2018 decided the establishment of the Committee for Supervision and Control as well as of the “Registry of Service Providers for the Cyprus Investment Program.”

According to the above resolutions from the 1.8.2018 and onwards applications will only be able to be submitted by Service Providers that are included in the «Registry» on the basis of an improved procedure.

Our law firm fully complies with the new provisions of the improved program and is one of the Registered Service Providers for the Cyprus Investment Program, with registration number 216 on the list of approved Service Providers which is published by the Committee of Supervision and Control for the Cyprus Investment Program at http://cipregistry.mof.gov.cy/gr/
In order to participate in Cyprus Investment Program, on the basis of the Scheme, a third-country national, must meet one of the following economic criteria:

– Investment of at least €2,0 million in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects. Any application which includes resale property already used for a previous Cyprus Investment Program application by other applicant, increases the amount of investment for the New Application to €2,5 million.

– Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses with investment costs of at least €2 million + €500.000 residential property.

– Investment of at least €2 million in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec + €500.000 residential property.

– The investor may proceed with a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2 million + €500.000 residential property.

Additional Criteria:
– Investor and his family members should have Clean Criminal Record in order to be able to apply for naturalization.

– Investor must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the European Union, have been frozen as the result of sanctions.

– Investor must own residence in Cyprus, the cost of which must be at least €500.000 excluding VAT.

– Investor and his family members must have a Schengen visa in order to be able to apply for naturalization.

– The applicant should be in possession of a residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus for at least six (6) months prior to naturalization as a Cypriot citizen.

– A specialized foreign due diligence firm carry out all background checks on applicants and implement stricter criteria for approvals.

– An applicant who has applied for the acquisition of citizenship in any other Member State of the European Union and has been rejected will not be entitled to acquire Cypriot citizenship within the framework of the Cyprus Investment Program.
In addition to the qualifying investment criteria there are two new donation components added to the revised Cyprus Investment Program that total €150,000:

– A donation of €75,000 to the Foundation for Research and Innovation to promote the creation of an entrepreneurial innovation system

– A donation of €75,000 contribution to the Land Development Agency to fund affordable housing initiatives.
A planning permit shall be mandatory for properties under construction as well as certificate of completion. In the case of building a property it is necessary to maintain an amount equal to 5% of the value in a special account or the equivalent bank guarantee from the seller of the property to the buyer (Performance Bank Guarantee) and Bank Waiver Certificate in case the property is mortgaged.
The qualifying investment options will be ratified:

– Investments in the Shipping Industry will now be permitted.
– Government bonds will no longer qualify.

The investment should be maintained for 5 years following the date of naturalization, instead of 3 years. During the 5-year period the investor will be able to change his investment, provided that a consent will be granted in this regard by the Ministry of Finance;
Investment requirement for residential properties is kept at €2.000.000. Investment in other sectors is €2.500.000. Any application which includes resale property already used for a previous Citizenship application by other applicant, increases the amount of investment for the New Application to €2.500.000.

Contributed by: Maria Pavlenko │ Associate │ [email protected]