Cyprus introduces stricter rules for citizenship by investment program
Contributed by Oxford Tax Solutions
27 February, 2019
New Rules Have Been Approved in Cyprus By the Parliament
As of February 2019, The Parliament of Cyprus approved changes to the Cyprus Investment Programme with stricter rules when applying for citizenship.
Although the exact details of implementation will need to be announced, the leading changes are as follows:
- Those applying for citizenship in Cyprus must have a valid Schengen Visa. The Schengen Visa is a short stay visa allowing the holder to move about the Schengen area which includes 26 countries.
- The original required investment needed to be maintained for 3 years. It's now required that the investment must be maintained for at least 5 years.
- An investment in Government Bonds is no longer acceptable.
- Applicants who have previously applied for citizenship in another European Union country and were rejected, are not entitled to citizenship in Cyprus.
- An applicant for Cyprus citizenship must have a Cyprus residence permit for at least 6 months before naturalization as a Cyprus citizen.
- It is now required to make a mandatory donation of EUR 75,000 to the Foundation for Research and Innovation. The funds given to the Foundation are used to promote the creation and improvement of the innovation ecosystem of Cyprus. If the applicant has made an investment of at least 20% of the required investment cost under the "Buy or Set Up or Participation in Cyprus Businesses and Companies", this donation requirement can be lifted.
- The required minimum investment is still EUR 2000,000 along with an added EUR 500,000 on residential property in case the initial investment (i.e. the EUR 2m) is made on commercial property(ies).
- Another required donation of EUR 75,000 must be given to the Cyprus Land & Development Corporation for the implementation of affordable housing policies.
- Investments in the shipping sector have also been included in eligible investments.
- Investments in Alternative Investment Products are now eligible for investment as well, with a cap of EUR 200,000.
- Cyprus will publish their annual Implementation Report that will include the number of citizens in Cyprus granted the original nationality of new citizens and the sector of the investment.
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