26/02 – 14/05/2019
15/05/2019 – onwards
On the 13.2.2019 the Council of Ministers introduced new criteria and terms to the “Cyprus Investment Programme”, which is put into effect from the date of its publication in the Government Gazette the 26th of February 2019 – with the exception of certain clauses which the decision specifies that will be put into effect from the 15th of May 2019.
Below you will find information of the clauses that have immediate effect, as well as all the provisions of the “Cyprus Investment Programme” that will be in force between the 26th of February 2019 and the 14th of May 2019, followed by the clauses and provisions into effect as from the 15th May 2019.
Clauses and regulation with Immediate effect as from 26th February 2019 till 14th May 2019:
- The applicant should make the necessary investments during the 3 (three) years preceding the date of the application and must retain it for a period of at least 3 (three) years from the date of the naturalization. The new provision is that the investor may replace the investment during the said period, provided that he/she has obtained beforehand an approval by the Ministry of Finance. If the investment involves the purchase of property or properties under construction for which the town-planning and building permits had not been ensured, this mandatory three-year period commences on the date that the town-planning permit 2 is issued. This clause applies for the applications that were submitted or will be submitted during the period between 15.6.2018 and 14.5.2019.
- An applicant (including family members if applicable) whose application for citizenship in any other member-state of the EU had been rejected, is not eligible to apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through the Cypriot Investment Programme. An additional mandatory document has been added to the application which is a “Declaration by the applicant concerning any citizenship applications he/she may have submitted in any other member-state or member-states of the European Union” signed before a registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer of the Republic of Cyprus.
- The applications of the financially dependent children must also include a Due Diligence Report issued through an internationally accepted database (e.g. Wolrd Check, LexisNexis Diligence, Regulatory DataCorp Inc. etc.). The report must be not older than thirty days from the date of its submission.
- The condition that 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 remains. The six-months period commences on the issuance date of the residence permit (card).
- Criterion Α.2 – Investments in the shipping sector are now eligible on the basis of measurable criteria that will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry. The provision that the company’ or companies’ employees (Cypriot or EU member-states citizens) needed to have resided in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application has been deleted.
- Criterion Α.3 (Investment in AIFs or RAIFs or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySEC), as indicated by the title of the Criterion, investments in Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) are also permitted. In addition it is now permitted for these AIFs or RAIFs to invest in secondary market stock-market values of the Cyprus Stock Exchange an amount that does not exceed the €200.000.
- Criterion A.4 (Combination of criteria) – the option of investing in state bonds has been removed. Investment in state bonds is no longer eligible for the purposes of applying for the Cyprus Investment Programme.
Additional Clauses and regulation with effect as from 15th May 2019 onward:
- The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least FIVE YEARS as from the date of the naturalization. It is understood that the investor may replace the investment during the said five-year period, provided that he/she has obtained beforehand an approval by the Ministry of Finance.
- New Financial Criteria A1: The Applicant must
make a donation as follows:
- €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation and
- €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Agency.
NOTE: The requirement for a contribution to the Research and Innovation Fund can be waived if the applicant invests at least €75,000 in a certified innovative business or a certified social business. In addition, the obligation is lifted, if the applicant has made an investment under the criterion A.3 (Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses) of a total amount equal to the 20% of the required investment amount (i.e. €400.000) of the abovementioned criterion A.3 in a company whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (excluding constructions), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources.
(a) Copy of the wire transfer of the donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation to an account in a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the Foundation.
(b) Copy of the wire transfer of the donation to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation to an account in a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the Corporation.
(c) Innovative enterprise certificate.
(d) Investment Agreement in Cypriot company or companies.
(e) Proof of payment of the agreed amount.
(f) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies.
(g) Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization.
(h) Specific investment plan.
(i) Copies of the employment contracts of the Cypriot or European Union citizens employed by the company in which the applicant has invested.
(j) Confirmation from the Social Insurance Department as to the insurable income of the Cypriot or European Union citizens employed in the company.
(k) Registration Certificate (MEU1) or Permanent Registration Certificate of Union Citizen (MEU3) for employees that are European Union citizens.
- The applicant and his dependents must be holders of a valid SCHENGEN VISA. 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 are excluded from this obligation.
- Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. If the applicant has invested in housing unit/units, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000, plus VAT, provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life. However, if the applicant has invested in housing units that have already being used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Programme, the above provision will be in force provided that the total amount of the investments, including the privately-owned residence, is at least €2,5 million.
- Investment in Real Estate (including Residence), Land development and Infrastructure projects: The following additional documents are required:
(a) Town-planning permit, provided that it is required by the Town and Country Planning Law.
(b) Declaration by the mortgage lender in the benefit of whom the purchased property or properties is mortgaged that will waive the mortgage, provided that the investor or the seller will pay the lender the amount conscribed in the declaration (bank waiver).
(c) Project completion certificate signed by the architect of the project. If the purchased property is under construction it is required either to maintain an amount equal to the 5% of the purchase value in a special account or for the seller to issue in the benefit of the purchaser a performance bank guarantee equal to the 5% of the purchase value.