Cyprus Investment Programme
At YIAVASHI CHRISTOFI LLC, we understand the complex environment where entrepreneurs, investors and high wealth individuals live and our priority is to eliminate the hassle of paperwork with all immigration authorities, so our clients can focus on their core business.
Our Cyprus law firm may represent and assist you from A to Z on Residency Permits, Work Permits, Other Visas as well as on Cyprus Citizenship.
Why invest in Cyprus?
On 13th of September 2016, the Cyprus Council of Ministers has approved the amendments to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception. The said scheme is based on subsection (2) in section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015.
The said amendments are in line with the strategy of the Cyprus Government to further attract Foreign Direct Investment and encourage the use of Cyprus by High Net Worth Individuals.
Cyprus Investment Programme
Non-Cypriot investors can acquire the Cyprus citizenship if they fulfil specific financial criteria and other conditions such as clean criminal records. Citizenship is also granted to the investor’s spouse, under age children and adult dependent children up to 28 years old. The investor and his/her family obtain a Cyprus Passport with full rights of an EU citizen.
Permanent Residence Permit
Non-Cypriot investors, who purchase property in Cyprus of at least €300.000 and have a secure and steady annual income transferred on a regular basis from abroad, are entitled to apply for Permanent Residence. The relevant Permit grants investors and their families visa free travel to Cyprus and the right of residence. It gives investors the opportunity for a second base in Europe. Granted for life, this permit includes spouses, under age children and adult dependent children up to 28 years old.
BENEFITS OF THE CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAMME:
- Cyprus allows dual citizenship
- Citizenship is granted to the applicant, the spouse and all financially dependent children up to the age of 28
- No dividend tax on world-wide income for non-domiciled tax residents. Cyprus has no inheritance tax and the lowest rate of corporate income tax in Europe.
- The Cyprus Investment Programme is unique
- The terms of investment are clear and the conditions simple.
NEW TERMS OF THE CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAMME
Apart from changes on the requirements of the programme, the Minister also announced stricter eligibility requirements as applicants will undergo a stricter due diligence test which will be conducted by a specialised external firm. Thus apart from the source of funds checks currently being held by the banks, and by the Cyprus authorities, other checks will be done by this firm which will be engaged by the Cypriot Government.
Applicants will also be required to hold a Schengen visa for at least 90 days prior to submitting a citizenship application, and those individuals who were rejected a visa by any other EU state will be ineligible for submitting a citizenship application. In addition, applicants who were already refused citizenship by any other Member state of the EU will not be entitled to apply.
Introduction of a non-refundable contribution
One of the main amendments approved by the Cabinet is an introduction of a €75,000 contribution to the Research and Innovation Foundation and another €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Agency to fund affordable housing schemes, totalling to a €150,000 mandatory contribution. The obligation to contribute €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation does not apply if the applicant invests at least €75,000 in a certified innovative business or a certified social corporation.
Investment shall be kept for 5 years
Another significant amendment approved by the Cabinet of Ministers is the obligation that the applicant must hold the qualifying investment for a total period of five years, rather than 3 years. The applicant is also given the right to replace the investment made within this five year period subject to the approval by the Ministry of Finance.
Approved Amendments of the Cyprus Investment Programme
To summarise the new amendments to the Cyprus Investment Programme include :
- A mandatory contribution of €150,000
- Stricter due diligence test to be conducted by a specialised firm
- The obligation to obtain a Schengen Visa prior to submitting an application
- Applicants who were refused a visa by an EU Member State will be ineligible to apply
- Applicants who were refused under another citizenship programme in the EU will be ineligible to apply
- Holding period for investment has been increased to 5 years from 3 years
- If a residential property had already been purchased under the CIP, the required investment is increased from €2m to €2.5m
- Applicants are no longer able to invest in Cyprus Government Bonds
- Investments made to the Cyprus shipping industry will be considered as an eligible investment under the CIP
Note that the law requires the mandatory acquisition of personal immovable property by each investor worth at least 500,000 ex. VAT (except where investment is made in residential property/properties worth 2 million ex. VAT)
Our team of highly experienced professionals can advise you further on the Cyprus Investment Programme or any other residency permit, on the basis of your particular facts and circumstances