AMENDMENTS TO THE CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAM
On February 13th, 2019, Cyprus Cabinet approved a series of changes to the Cyprus Investment Program, based on which, non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/ investors and members of their families may submit applications for partaking in the Program.
The following changes are applicable to the Financial Criteria of the Cyprus Investment Program as from May 15th, 2019 onwards:
- A mandatory donation of at least €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation to promote the creation of an entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem, an obligation that can be waived under certain conditions
- A mandatory donation of at least €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the purpose of contributing to the integrated housing policy and specifically for the purpose of implementing affordable housing projects and the implementation of other housing plans/measures.
- With regards to Investments in Alternative Investment Funds, the investment in Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) is added as an eligible investment, as well as the to invest up to €200.000 in Cyprus Stock Exchange’s secondary market.
- The inclusion of investments in the shipping sector is added as an eligible investment on the basis of measurable criteria, that will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry.
- Regarding Investments in Real Estate, it is noted that if the applicant has invested in housing units that were already used in the past, for the purpose of acquiring the Cyprus citizenship via the Cyprus Investment Program, the threshold of the investment is now increased from €2 million to the total amount of at least €2,5 million (including the privately-owned residence).
- The investment in Government bonds has been removed from the list of eligible investments under the Cyprus Investment Program.
- The period of retaining any investment made under the eligible categories, has been increased from the minimum of 3 (three) to 5 (five) years.
Other general changes:
- Any 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. This comes in addition to the existing condition of submitting a clean criminal record and the absence of his/her name from any list of individuals whose property, within the European Union, is under any restrictions.
- Applicants must be holders of a valid Schengen visa in order to be able to apply for naturalization. Non–European Union nationals whose passport allows them a visa-free entrance to the European Union, as well as nationals of European Union Member States, are excluded from this obligation.
- Applicants should be in possession of a residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus for at least six (6) months prior to naturalization as Cypriot citizens.
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