Changes to the Cyprus Investment Programme as of 18th of August 2020

The Council of Ministers has adopted on the 18th of August 2020 new rules for the Cyprus Investment Programme (‘the Program’). The new regulations are as follows:

  • A “Supervision and Control Committee” has now been established for regulating and monitoring the services provided by the registered service providers of the Cyprus Investment Programme. The Committee shall consist of the General Director of the Ministry of Interior, the General Director of the Ministry of Finance and the Representative of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency or their Representatives holding managerial positions, as well as experienced and trained administrative staff.
  • A “Naturalizations Control Unit” is also established and shall be responsible for the ongoing examination of the citizenship applications, the compliance of all applicants with the applicable regulations as well as the administration and overseeing of the Program.
  • Detailed provisions were also introduced for the counselling and control of the registered service providers to ensure compliance with the applicable regulations as well as code of conduct.
  • The total amount of the required donations was increased to €200,000, out of which €100,000 must be donated to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation and the remaining €100,000 to one of the below:
  • The Research and Innovation Foundation; or
  • The Industry and Technology Service; or
  • The Fund for Renewable Energy Sources and Conservation of Energy; or
  • The National Solidarity Fund.
  • It is highlighted that the investment funds must come from the Investor’s personal account or the Investor’s company/ies based and operating abroad.
  • It is also noted that the investment of funds for the formation and/or establishment of a land developing company is not acceptable anymore.
  • Investments through incorporation or participation in Cyprus companies and/or corporations and/or businesses based on an investment plan is still a qualifying investment provided that such entities have their physical presence and operations in Cyprus. Moreover, substantial activity and significant turnover must be proved, and the number of minimum Cypriot or European employees has been increased to 9 (Nine).
  • The validity of the applicants’ Clean Criminal Record has been increased from 3 months to 6 months from the date of issuance.
  • The eligibility of the Investors and their family members is now subject to certain exceptions. Applicants falling in any of the below categories are not eligible to apply for the Program:
  • politically exposed persons (PEPs) – it specifically applies only to PEPs holding such a position at the time of their application or within the 12 months prior to the submission of their application;
  • applicants subject to criminal investigation either in Cyprus or abroad at the time of their application and/or applicants convicted of serious criminal offences. In both cases it shall apply only to criminal offences punishable with imprisonment of 5 years or more;
  • applicants who are connected with natural or legal persons that are included in the Restrictive Measures Lists of the EU and/or applicants that they were connected (at the time of such inclusion in the List) with natural or legal persons who are included in the Restrictive Measures Lists of the European Union;
  • applicants who are connected with natural or legal persons that are included in the Sanctions Lists of the European Union and/or applicants that they were connected (at the time when such sanctions were imposed) with natural or legal persons who are included in the Sanctions Lists of the European Union;
  • applicants who are connected with natural or legal persons that are included in the Restrictive Measures Lists of either the European Union or the United Nations, against whom such Restrictive measures remained valid for a period ended up to 12 months prior to the submission of their application;
  • applicants who are included in the “Wanted List” of EUROPOL or INTERPOL; and
  • applicants of whom the estate was seized within the borders of the European Union.
  • The application/s of the Investor’s family members can now be submitted either at the same time with the Investor’s application or at any time after the submission of the Investor’s application.
  • It is provided that the parents of the Investor or the parents of the Investor’s spouse, as the case may be, could submit the citizenship application provided that they purchase a residential property of minimum €500.000 (without VAT).
  • It is emphasized that citizenship may be revoked if any of the economic criteria and/or requirements of the Program are no longer satisfied.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice.

For any additional information, please contact us at [email protected] or +357 22 42 11 90.

Cyprus Investment Programme

In accordance with the Cyprus Investment Programme (the “Programme”), non – Cypriot Nationals, can acquire the Cyprus Citizenship by Naturalisation (on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2017), by complying with the economic criteria and conditions set in the relevant Council of Ministers Decisions, as well as the Code of Conduct of the Cyprus Investment Programme and subsequent relevant Council of Ministers’ Decisions of January 2018 and May 2018.
The Cyprus Citizenship Programme is currently the most popular in Europe and we are able to assist you with the preparation and filing of a Citizenship application.

The following is a list of the main services we provide pertaining to a Cyprus Citizenship application:
1. Provision of advice in relation to the financial criteria, the terms and conditions of the scheme and the application procedure;
2. Assist the applicant with identifying the most suitable Investment option;
3. If the applicant chooses to proceed with real estate investment, assist with identifying the most suitable property, based on the investment criteria and personal taste of the applicant, via our network of reputable real estate agents and property developers, and ensure the applicant is presented with properties that are good value for money;
4. Legal advice on the preparation and drafting of any agreements connected with the purchase of property in Cyprus, including privately owned residences;
5. Valuation and Financial, tax and legal due diligence of properties and corporate entities;
6. Draft and assist with the collection and filing of all required documents (Application Preparation & Submission);
7. Monitoring the status of the application and follow up, including personal meetings where deemed necessary;
8. Regularly update the applicant on the progress of their application;
9. Upon granting of the Naturalization Certificate, our office can assist with the issuance of the Cyprus passports and ID cards.

BASIC DETAILS OF THE CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAMME
1. Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation:
a) At least €75.000 Investment to the Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation. This obligation is lifted if the applicant:
• Has invested at least €75.000 in a certified innovative enterprise or social enterprise;
• Has invested 20% of the main investment in a Cyprus company with operations in the primary/secondary sectors of the economy or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy.

b) At least €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. It is noted that if the applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000, this additional amount, under certain criteria, may be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made.

2. Investment Options:
At least €2 Million Investment in one of the following options:
a) Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot businesses and companies. 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) Investment in Cyprus Alternative Funds (AIF’s) or financial assets of Cypriot organizations licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission;

c) Real estate, land development and infrastructure projects. It is noted that investment in land under development is included in this criterion, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land will be included in the application. It is understood that investment in land that is situated in a building zone of zero development, is excluded; or
d) A combination of the above investments.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
• Private owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus of minimum value €500.000 excluding VAT. The residence must be kept for life.
• If the applicant is applying on the basis of investment in residential property/ies which have previously used for the purpose of the CIP then the total investment amount must be at least €2,5 million.
• 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.
• Adults applicants must be holders of Schengen Visa, excluding 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.
• The applicant should have a Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin. Furthermore, his/her name 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.
• The applicant prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot must hold a residence permit.
• The Investments must hold at least five years from the date of naturalization. If the investor wish to change the investment within the 5 years then he/she first obtain an approval from the Ministry of Finance.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE
STEP 1: Investment:
• Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.
• Investment of minimum €2,000,000.
• Purchase of main residence €500,000.

STEP 2: Preparation of Application.
• Citizenship application.
• Permanent residency application.
• Supporting Documentation.

STEP 3: Submission of the Application.
• The applicant must visit Cyprus in order to give the biometric data.
• Collection of Permanent residency card.

STEP 4: Processing time by the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance (approximately 6 months).

STEP 5: Issuance of Naturalization Certificate (Cyprus Passport and ID card).

WHO IS ELIGIBLE
1. Any investor who is 18 years and above;
2. Spouse and financially dependent children of the Investor up to the age of 28;
3. Parents of the Investor provided that the hold a permanent owned residence in Cyprus of at least €500,000 excluding VAT.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice.
For any additional information, please contact us at [email protected] or at +357 22 42 11 90.

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