Changes in the Cyprus Citizenship Investment Programme 2019
- August 14, 2019
- Posted by: Elias Christofi & Co Ltd
- Category: Corporate & Fiduciary Services
The Cyprus Cabinet has authorised some adjustments in the Cyprus Investment Program aiming to make it more attractive and trustworthy. The Finance Minister Harris Georgiades indicated the required donation to the Foundation for Research and Innovation more support for the creation of an eco-system of business innovation and the required donation to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation to finance affordable housing.
- A required contribution of €75.000 to the Foundation for Research and Innovation to encourage the creation of an entrepreneur. This mandatory requirement can be waived under certain conditions, i.e. Where the investor chooses to make an investment in an innovative field (which has acquired the necessary certificate by the ministry of finance) or in a certified social enterprise. The mandatory requirement can also be waived where an investment has been made by the applicant under the criterion “Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses” amounting to at least 20% of the investment cost of the prerequisite amount (i.e. € 400,000) to an business operating in the either the primary or the secondary sector of the economy, or in one of the alternative fields of research and technology, health, education, etc.
- A required contribution of €75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation, targeting the donation to the integrated housing policy.
- To include investments in the shipping department in the available investments, based on certain criteria.
- To include investments in Registered Alternative Investment Funds in the available investments, including the likelihood of these organizations investing up to € 200,000 in Cyprus Stock Exchange’s secondary market.
- The commitment to keep in existence and maintain the investments for a minimum of 5 years (instead of three years) starting from the naturalization date.
- Elimination of the requirement to invest in government bonds as an acceptable investment within the Programme.
- Where the applicant has invested in the purchase of real estate or property as well as in the case of a permanent resident the following are required:
- a planning permission issued by the Department of Town Planning and Housing in accordance with the Town and Planning Act (Ν. 90/1972),
- a completion certificate signed by the architect of the project. Where a property is under development, it will be required to maintain an amount equal to 5% of the value in a designated account or the equivalent bank guarantee from the seller of the property to the buyer (Performance Bank Guarantee)
- a bank waiver will be required from the banking institution in case of a mortgaged property.
- The investor must acquire a Schengen visa (short stay visa that allows to travel in the Schengen area) if he wishes to apply for naturalization.
- Where the investor has applied to obtain a citizenship in any of the EU member States and has been application has been declined then she/he will not be allowed to obtain Cypriot Citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Programme.
- The investor must have a residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus for a minimum of 6 months before (s)he becomes a Cypriot citizen by naturalization.
- For the sake of transparency and accuracy, an Implementation report should be prepared on an annual basis and should include the number of naturalizations, nationality of the applicants and the field in which the investments were made.
- Re insertion of the ban on the excessive advertising of the Investment Programmes in public places and on the Internet, with particular emphasis on the visibility of the Cypriot passport and the symbols of the Republic and the EU.
Publication of tender for purchase of services for enhanced due diligence procedures for the naturalization applicants from the Interior Ministry within two months from the date of the application.
These amendments have been implemented in the law since May 2019.
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