The Council of Ministers in Cyprus announced revisions to the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme in June, which included a change to the official name of the programme, the introduction of an annual cap of applicants and the strengthening of due diligence procedures in respect of applicants.
The scheme, which enables investors to obtain Cypriot citizenship for an investment of a minimum of €2 million, will now be officially known as the ‘Cyprus Investment Programme’ and, as from this year, the number of investors to be granted citizenship per year will be limited to 700.
Applicants under the programme will also be subject to enhanced due diligence procedures that are expected to lengthen the application process to a six-month period for clearance. Increased due diligence costs will be borne by applicants.
The Cyprus government has further clarified that the following two investment options will make an investor eligible to apply under the Cyprus Investment Programme:
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) or in financial assets of Cyprus companies or Cyprus organisations that are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySeC). The applicant must purchase or establish an AIF and/or proceed with an investment in financial assets of Cyprus companies or Cyprus organisations regulated by CySeC, for a value of at least €2 million. These entities are obliged to utilise their capital exclusively for the purpose of conducting business in the Republic of Cyprus.
- Investment by purchasing or by incorporation or by participating in companies or business organisations established in the Republic of Cyprus. The applicant must purchase or incorporate or participate in business organisations or companies that already are, or will be based in the Republic of Cyprus. The investment to be made in such entities must be for a value of at least €2 million and the same will be utilised only for operations in the Republic of Cyprus based on a pre-approved business plan. Additionally, the entity is obliged to employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens. All such employees need to have a valid permanent residence in Cyprus for at least five consecutive years prior to the date of the employment by the concerned entity.
Sovereign Trust (Cyprus) Ltd. is able to advise you and assist you in submitting an application under the Cyprus Investment Programme options and will also be able to indicate the expected time frames based on the specific circumstances and the nature of your application.
This programme offers unrivalled benefits to successful applicants, which include:
- Citizenship of an EU member state and the freedom to reside, work, establish business, move capital and travel anywhere in all EU member states, as well as EEA and EFTA states
- Visa-free travel to 171 countries worldwide, including all of the EU member states and Canada and Australia
- Full citizenship and passports are granted to the applicant and included family members – spouse, parents and dependent children
- No requirement to reside in Cyprus before, during or after the approval of the citizenship application
- No government donation required
- Cypriot citizenship is valid for life and transferable to dependants.
For further information on residency and citizenship in Cyprus, please contact our office’s Managing Director George Ayiomamitis.