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Changes to the Cyprus Citizenship Programme 2019

April 10, 2019

 

Changes to the Cyprus Citizenship Programme 2019

 

On the 13th of February 2019, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus approved the revised Cyprus Investment Programme (the “CIP”) with the aim to revise and include new due diligence procedures to strengthen the credibility of the CIP taking into account at the same time the concerns raised by the European Union. The new CIP aims to allow foreign high-net worth individuals and their family members to obtain the Cypriot Citizenship within a six month-period.

 

Changes to the CIP effective from 15th of May 2019:

 

  • The proposed investors will be required to make a mandatory donation of Euro 75,000 to the ‘’Research and Innovation Foundation’’, or in a certified innovative enterprise (certified by the Ministry of Finance) in order to promote the creation of an entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. The amount of Euro 75,000 shall calculate towards the total amount required for the fulfilment of the investment amount threshold depending upon the investment choice in accordance with the respective criteria as set out in the revised CIP.

 

  • The proposed investors will be required to make a mandatory donation of Euro 75,000 to the ‘’Cyprus Land Development Corporation’’ aimed at contributing to the integrated housing policy, for the purpose of implementing affordable housing initiatives and the implementation of other housing plans and/or measures. The amount of Euro 75,000 shall calculate towards the total amount required for the fulfilment of the investment amount threshold depending upon the investment choice in accordance with the respective criteria as set out in the revised CIP.

 

  • The proposed investor must hold a valid Schengen visa to be able to apply for the naturalisation.

 

For any investments relating to the purchase of real estate or property the following documents will be required:

 

  • Planning Permit which shall be mandatory for the investment in properties under construction.

 

  • Certificate of completion of the property (in the case of completed properties). In the case where the property is under construction, at least 5% of the total value of the property should be blocked by a bank guarantee in which the relevant amount will only be released to the vendors upon the completion of the property.

  • The investment must be maintained for five years following the naturalization dated, instead of three years. During the five-year period the investor may change his investment upon the prior notification and approval granted by the Ministry of Finance.

 

  • In case where there is a mortgage on the property to be acquired, a bank waiver will be required.

 

New Qualifying Investment Options:

 

  • Investments in the Shipping industry will also be included as an investment which qualifies for the CIP; (We anticipate that further guidelines will be issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry in due course.

  • Registered Alternative Investment Funds (the “RAIFs”) are considered as an eligible investment. Approved RAIFs for CIP purposes may invest up to € 200,000 in the Cyprus Stock Exchange’s secondary market;

 

  • Investment in government bonds no longer qualifies for the purposes of the CIP;

 

  • In the event of a residential property being acquired from an investor who had previously used it to apply under the CIP, the required investment amount is increased from Euro 2 million to Euro 2.5 million;

 

  • New due diligence and background checks shall be carried on by an independent foreign firm which shall carry out the necessary checks on each proposed investor;

 

  • In the event where a proposed investor had previously submitted an application for obtaining a citizenship in another European Member State and has been rejected, the proposed investor shall not be allowed to submit an application for obtaining the Cyprus Citizenship in accordance with the revised CIP.

 

The CIP, as amended, still remains one of the most attractive schemes in the European Union for investors to obtain citizenship for themselves and their dependents. For more information on the benefits of Cyprus citizenship. Please click here.

 

How MPC can help?

  • Assist with the procedure of applying to obtain the Cyprus Citizenship under the revised CIP;

  • Assist with the compliance of the new CIP requirements;

  • Provide advise to proposed investors regarding the new qualifying investments;

  • Liaise with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Finance to address any queries and/or clarifications.

 


 

 

 

 

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