New, Revised Criteria for Cypriot Citizenship by Investment Program

New, Revised Criteria for Cypriot Citizenship by Investment Program

In September 2016, the Cypriot government has revised the criteria for application to its citizenship by investment program. This makes the already friendly Cypriot visa program even more enticing for foreign nationals from around the world.

The Cypriot citizenship arrangement is one of the most popular worldwide. The country is a member of the EU, and is strategically located close to three different continents. Cyprus was ranked the fifth safest in the world, according to the 2015 Value Penguin Index.

New Changes Made

  • The required minimum investment has been reduced from 2.5 million Euros to 2 million Euros (excluding VAT), required that the investment is an immovable residential property, or multiple immovable residential properties (at least one of which is worth a minimum of €500,000 – excluding VAT). For all the other investments, the required amount is 2 million Euros, plus a residential property worth a minimum of €500,000 (excluding VAT).
  • It will no longer be necessary to join hands with other applicants in the collective investment scheme. Interested foreigners can now apply for Cypriot citizenship individually on the thresholds of the requirements stated above (in the first bullet point). The previous collective investment application required at least 5 applicants to be grouped together and raise a minimum of €12.5 million before the application could be submitted.
  • The applicant’s parents will now be entitled to apply for Cypriot citizenship in the same application, just provided that they have also bought a permanent residence in the country worth a minimum of €500,000 (excluding VAT).
  • In order for Cypriot citizenship to remain valid, all investments attached to the citizenship application must be kept for at least 3 years, and the permanent residence worth minimum €500,000 plus VAT must be kept indefinitely.
  • Maximum investment in government bonds of Cyprus has been capped at €500,000.
  • Starting 31st October 2016, the provision of fixed bank deposits for 3 years has been removed from the Cypriot citizenship program. If in any case the applicant intends to go ahead with the citizenship application using fixed bank deposits, he or she might do so only before/until October 31st, 2016.

The speed of processing applications for the Cypriot citizenship by investment program remains unchanged. Successful applicants will be granted approval within 90 days after submitting all necessary documentation, effectively makes Cyprus investment program the fastest in Europe. The new changes have definitely increased the competitiveness and appeal of Cypriot immigrant investor arrangement on a global scale. It’ll be interesting how many more applications the country attracts compared to previous years.