The Cyprus Government has approved revised criteria for the Cyprus Investment Program, in an effort to continue to attract qualitative foreign direct investment in Cyprus.
The most important changes are as follows:
- An annual quota of 700 applications is introduced as from 2018;
- The expected period for the examination of each application is now six months;
- Investors have to keep their investment for a minimum three year period, as was the case before the changes. However, in case of investment in real estate that is under development, the three year period begins to count from the day the town planning permit of the real estate under consideration will be issued. In the instance where, the town planning permit exists as at the time of the application, the minimum period of three years begins to count from the date of issuance of the naturalization certificate;
- As from 1st August 2018, all applicants must submit a report containing the findings of a due diligence review (due diligence report) from an internationally recognised and accredited firm (e.g. World Check, LexisNexis Diligence, Regulatory DataCorp Inc, etc). The report must be dated not later than thirty days from the date of its submission;
- A newly set-up "Committee of Supervision and Control" for the Cyprus Investment Programme (consists of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Interior and the non-profit company Invest Cyprus) is established to monitor the smooth and orderly implementation of the Cyprus Investment Program.
A. Criteria for granting the Cypriot citizenship by exception
- Real estate and land developing
The applicant must have made a direct investment in Cyprus of at least €2,0 million for the acquisition or development of real estate projects (residential, commercial, tourism or other infrastructure). It shall be noted that the mere acquisition of land is not considered to be a qualifying investment under this program.
- Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies
The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2,0 million in the purchase, creation, or participation in businesses or companies, that are based and operating in Cyprus. These businesses or companies should evidently have a tangible presence and substantial activity in Cyprus and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or EU citizens who have been legally residing in Cyprus for a continuous period of at least 5 years.
- Investment in alternative investment funds (AIFs), financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organisations which are licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
The applicant must have purchased financial assets of at least €2,0 million (units in AIFs, bonds, debentures, other securities, etc.) registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus, in companies or organisations with substantial economic activity in Cyprus which are regulated and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Combination of the aforementioned criteria
The applicant may choose to have a combination of any of the above criteria amounting to at least €2,0 million.
In the context of this criterion (i.e. combination of investments), the applicant may also purchase governmental bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of a maximum amount of €500.000.
B. Other conditions
It is noted that in addition to satisfying any one of the above criteria, the applicant must:
- Have a clean criminal record; and
- Acquire a permanent residence in Cyprus valued at least €500,000 excluding VAT. (This condition does not apply if the investment is in residential property, under criterion A1 above);
The revised criteria for the Cyprus Investment program is a welcomed development and is expected to further promote Cyprus as an ideal location to relocate one's family, business or both.
How we can help
KPMG Cyprus has a dedicated immigration team and can provide specialised assistance for obtaining the Cyprus Citizenship offered to foreign investors.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further clarifications.
All content prepared by KPMG Cyprus.