On February 13, 2019, the Cyprus Council of Ministers approved revisions to the Cyprus Citizenship-by-Investment Programme (CIP) with the aim to enhance the due diligence standards and credibility of programme and address concerns previously raised by the EU Commission. In addition, these changes will contribute to research and development within the country and help fund affordable housing initiatives.
Three of these changes start with immediate effect while the remaining will be implemented on May 16, 2019.
1. The period for which you must hold your investment increases from three to five years (this excludes the primary residence of €500,000 which still must be held for life).
2. In order to file an application for citizenship via the CIP, you must hold a valid Schengen Visa at the time the application is submitted to the government.
3. If you were previously rejected by another European Member Country, you will not be eligible to apply to the Cyprus CIP.
1. In addition to the qualifying investment criteria there will be two new donation components added to the revised CIP that total €150,000:
– A €75,000 contribution to the Research and Innovation Foundation
– A €75,000 contribution to the Land Development Agency to fund affordable housing initiatives
2. A planning permit shall be mandatory for properties under construction
3. The qualifying investment options will be ratified:
– Investments in the Shipping Industry will now be permitted
– Government bonds will no longer qualify
4. During the five-year investment period, you will be able to change your investment, provided you are granted consent by the Ministry of Finance.
5. A specialized foreign due diligence firm will be hired to carry out all background checks on you and implement stricter criteria for approvals.
6. For the purchase of new real estate the minimum investment remains at €2 million however, for the purchase of re-sales the minimum investment will increase to €2.5 million.
These programme enhancements will ensure a more robust CIP and help to appease some of the concerns that the EU Commission had previously raised in a January report on member states that offer citizenship and residence schemes.
During the cabinet meeting, the Finance Minister, Mr. Harris Georgiades, touched on the positive aspects the CIP has contributed to the recovery of the real estate sector and it was now the appropriate time for the CIP to add a social contribution:“We ensure that for every naturalisation of a foreign investor, funds will also go towards an affordable home for our fellow citizens who are in need.”
RIF Trust welcomes these enhancements. They will ensure the credibility of the programme is kept intact through stricter selection criteria and standards. In the end, this will ensure the longevity of the programme that has had and will continue to have a positive impact on the economy and social well-being of the country.
For more information on the Cyprus Citizenship-by-Investment Programme, use our contact form.