In efforts to increase its foreign investment, Cyprus introduced its citizenship by investment program, or what is known as The Golden Passport, back in 2012, granting around 1860 passports, and generating over 6.6 Billion Euros in foreign investment. According to governmental reports, The Cyprus citizenship by investment program was responsible for approximately 10% of the island’s GDP during the time period that falls between 2016 and 2019.
The numerous benefits associated with Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program, especially the ability for investors to settle and trade in the EU, contributed to the rush of demand for the Cypriot Passport. Accordingly, new regulations are being put into place to address the concerns raised in the EU Commission Report.
New Rules and Regulations concerning the Cypriot Citizenship:
- Rules that are already being enforced:
- Investor must not have a history of rejection by any other EU member state.
- Investors must hold a Cyprus residence permit card for at least six months before naturalization.
- Investors must hold valid Schengen Visas at the time of application.
- Investment should be held for at least 5 years (instead of 3 years). Note that this does not include the primary residence an investor must purchase, valued at €500,00.
- Rules that will be enforced starting May 2019:
- An obligatory contribution to the tune of €150,000 must be made. This is broken down into:
- €75,000 donation to The Foundation for Research and Innovation in order to encourage and cultivate entrepreneurship. However, this condition might be waived under certain circumstances.
- €75,000 donation to The Cyprus Land Development Corporation in order to fund affordable housing projects as part of an integrated housing policy.
- The investment needed for citizenship will increase from €2 million to €2.5 million (including residency).
- In the event the investment relates to the purchase of real estate (including for permanent homeowners), a planning permit, completion certificate, and bank waiver can be required.
- Investing in the Registered Alternative Investment Funds is now permissible, as is investing in Cyprus Stock Exchange’s secondary market (capped at €200,000).
- Applicants will be more thoroughly vetted by a third party.
- Investment in the Cypriot shipping industry is now eligible, but under certain criteria.
At Bluemina, our team of experienced advisors center their attention to the newest regulations in order to help our clients better understand the bureaucracy, and ease their navigation through different investment options.