On the 13/9/2016, the Cyprus Government announced that the Council of Ministers revised the criteria and updated the procedure and a series of financial criteria for granting Cypriot citizenship to foreign investors, lowering the threshold and thus making the program even more attractive.
Under the new procedure, the investors are given several options as to how they can invest in the Republic of Cyprus, providing greater flexibility.
The main revisions in the criteria are the following:
Minimum required investment:
The minimum required investment amount has been reduced to €2mn (from €5mn for individual applications and from €2.5mn for collective investment scheme applications).
New Financial Criteria:
The applicant should make an investment of at least € 2.000.000 for the purchase or construction of im- movable property whether residential or commercial, and whether related to the tourism sector or otherwise, including investment in land.
The applicant should purchase, incorporate or participate in companies established and operating in the Re- public of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2.000.000. These invested funds will be channeled to finance the investment objectives of the Companies, according to their business plan.
Additionally, the companies must have physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover, and must employ at least five Cypriot or European citizens.
The applicant should invest in units of at least € 2.000.000 of AIF’s established, licensed and supervised in Cyprus by “CYSEC”. Such investments should be made exclusively in Cyprus and should meet the criteria of this scheme and be approved by the Minister of Finance.
Acquisition of financial assets in Cypriot businesses or organizations of at least € 2.000.000, such as bonds, bills and securities issued by companies that have demonstrated physical presence and substantial economic activity in Cyprus, should be maintained for a period of 3 years.
The applicant may make a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount to at least € 2.000.000.
Under this criterion, the investor may also invest in government bonds of Cyprus for the amount up to
€ 500.000, which will be issued for this purpose by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance, for a period of at least 3 years.
Citizenship to parents of the applicant:
An investor’s parents are now entitled to apply for Cyprus citizenship provided that they own a permanent residence worth at least €500.000. Alternatively, the investor and parents acquire one residential property with a total value of minimum €1mn.
Investment in government bonds:
The investment in government bonds is now restricted to €500.000 (from €2.5 mn).
Applicants must be holders of a residence permit in Cyprus to qualify for receiving the Cypriot Citizenship. For this purpose, applications for residence permits should be submitted to the Authorities, which will be issued simultaneously with the filing of the Citizenship application.
Terms And Conditions:
Clean Criminal Record: The applicant should have clean criminal record.
Residential Property: The applicant should own a residential property of at least €500.000 + VAT.
Residency in Cyprus: The applicant, before the naturalization as Cypriot Citizen, must hold a residency permit in Cyprus.
a) Free travel, reside and work within the EU of which Cyprus is a member state
b) The application processing takes 3 months only
c) Keeping investments for 3 years only
d) Dual citizenship is permitted and the acquisition of citizenship in Cyprus is not reported to other countries
Even though the new criteria have immediate effect, already submitted applications will be based on the provisions as were applicable at the time of submission. However, investors who already submitted their applications, have the possibility of withdrawing and applying anew based on the new criteria as of 13/9/2016.
Potential applicants will have a choice as to which of the two schemes they would like to apply for under until the 31/10/2016. From the 1/11/2016, only the new criteria will be applicable for the Cyprus Citizenship by investment scheme.
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