Changes to the Cyprus Investment Program
The Cypriot government, as part of its efforts and policies aimed at attracting foreign investment to Cyprus, has established a set of legislation and financial criteria that allows non-Cypriot high net worth individuals and investors, as well as their families, to obtain Cypriot citizenship through naturalization.
This scheme, now known as the Cyprus Investment Program, has undergone a series of modifications as approved by the Cyprus government. Taking into account the strong interest by investors, the Cyprus Government has implemented a set of specific revisions and criteria. These are aimed at enhancing as well as regulating the scheme, preventing abuse, but most importantly, further encouraging Foreign Direct Investment by attracting individuals to bring their business activities to Cyprus.
It is essential to note that the economic criteria and the terms and conditions have not been essentially altered. Rather, the most significant changes are as follows:
The ‘Cyprus Citizenship by Investment’ has now been renamed ‘Cyprus Investment Programme.’
As of 2018, an annual quota of 700 applications has been introduced. This refers to the main applicants, not the applicant’s family members.
The expected timeframe for the examination of each application submitted is now six months.
Prior to the changes, investors were expected to keep their investment for a minimum three year period. This is still the case under the new criteria, however, in instances where the investment involves a purchase of property under development for which a Town Planning Permit has not been issued, the 3-year period begins to count from the day the permit is issued. In instances where the town planning permit exists at the time of the application, the minimum 3-year period begins from the date of issuance of the naturalization certificate.
Committee of Supervision and Control
A ‘Committee of Supervision and Control’ for the Cyprus Investment Program has been established to examine and approve all applications, and monitor the smooth and orderly implementation of the Cyprus Investment Program. The committee consists of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Interior and the non-profit company Invest Cyprus (CIPA).
All applicants, as well as their spouse and parents, must submit a report containing the findings of a due diligence review, issued through an internationally accepted database (e.g. LexisNexis, World Check, Regulatory DataCorp Inc, etc). The report must be dated not later than 30 days from the date of its submission.
For more information about the Cyprus Investment Program and the criteria for application, do not hesitate to contact D. Zavos Group directly to assist you with all your investment needs.