Cyprus Investment Program- Amendments
On 31 July 2020, the Council of Ministers revised the existing Cyprus Investment Program and implemented new rules that were officially published in the Government Gazette on 17-18 August 2020. The aim of such amendments set in place aims towards the provision to the social contribution and development of the country. They, moreover, aim at further regulating, tightening and supervising the regulations of the Cyprus Investment Programme.
The amendments include the following changes:
- The amount of the donation (one-time non-refundable payment) has increased from €150,000 to €200,000.
- Financially dependent adult children (18 to 28 years old) who are married, no longer qualify under their parents’ citizenship application.
- The parents of the investor's spouse are now also eligible to apply for citizenship (for an additional € 500,000 investment), whereas prior to the change only the investor’s parents could do so.
- Adult family members can apply for citizenship at the same time as the main investor/applicant, whereas prior to the changes they could do so only after the investor had been granted citizenship.
- It is no longer permitted to set up a development company and invest in its own development projects, in order to obtain citizenship.
- Where the applicant invests in a Cypriot company, the minimum number of employees (citizens of Cyprus or EU) that that company must employ has increased from 5 to at least 9.
- The funds relating to all investments, as well as the purchase of permanent private residence under the provisions of the regulations, shall be wired from an overseas bank account of the foreign investor or his/her company or companies and all payments for the investments in the Republic shall end up in Cypriot credit institutions or payment institutions which are licensed and supervised by the Central Bank of Cyprus and copies of the wire transfers shall be attached to the application.
- The police clearance certificate can now be issued/dated up to 6 months prior to the application, whereas prior to the amendments it was only accepted if it was dated within 3 months prior to the submission of the application.
- Politically exposed persons (provided that they did not occupy significant political positions - ie. heads of states or governments, ministers or their deputies, ambassadors, mayors of cities, etc.) shall not have held public office for one year at the time of applying for citizenship, whereas prior to the official changes this limitation applied for a period of 5 years prior to the application.
- Citizenship cannot be claimed by applicants convicted of a serious criminal offense punishable by imprisonment of five (5) years or more, or another offense of a similar severity. If the applicant has been convicted in another country, the specific crime must also be considered a crime in the Republic of Cyprus, punishable by similar imprisonment.
- Applicants who are subject to criminal investigation of an offence which carries a possible sentence of five (5) years or more cannot apply for Cypriot citizenship.
Any other criteria not mentioned above remained unchanged.