• Eligibility Criteria Relaxed for Citizenship by Investment Program
  • October 17, 2016
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Foreign entrepreneurs, investors and their families will be subject to more flexible citizenship eligibility criteria on or after October 31, 2016, including a lower minimum investment amount and more investment options.

    New Investment Criteria

    The minimum amount of investment will be reduced to EUR 2 million, from EUR 5 million.

    Additionally, the following new investment options will become available:
    • Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects for the acquisition and/or development of residential or commercial real estate projects, tourist infrastructure or other forms of infrastructure;
    • Purchase, creation, or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies. The investment company must employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens who have legally resided in Cyprus for the past five years;
    • Investment in Cypriot financial companies or Cypriot organizations regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission made up of Accredited Investment Fiduciaries, bonds or securities issued and registered in Cyprus and organizations with substantial economic activity in Cyprus; and
    • Any combination of the above.
    Other Policy Improvements

    Applicants will have to file a permanent residency application with their citizenship application, which will provide the applicant with permanent residency status while the citizenship application is pending.

    Parents can be included in the application for Cypriot citizenship with the main applicant, provided the parents purchase a residential property with a value of at least EUR 500,000.

    Related Policy Restrictions

    An investment in bank deposits will no longer be considered a qualifying investment under the revised scheme.

    The purchase of government bonds in Cyprus will be capped at EUR 500,000.

    The collective investment scheme will be removed and applicants will only be able to make their qualifying investment as a sole investor.

    What This Means for Investors and Entrepreneurs

    Investors and entrepreneurs in Cyprus should benefit from the relaxed investment policies and increased investment options, but should also note the new restrictions.

    Interested investors should contact their immigration professional to discuss the details of the new policies.