The main goal of the revised scheme is a further encouragement of Immediate Foreign Investments. The Minister of Finance, Mr Georgiades, stated that the government intends to attract investors who will base their economic activity and residence in Cyprus. What makes Cyprus an attractive destination for investments is the high expertise of human resources, the reliable legal and regulatory framework, the fixed fiscal system and the security and stability conditions that prevail in the country.
Most notably, the revised scheme amends the provision for collective investment of €12 million by an individual investment of €2 million and the purchase of a residence in Cyprus valued at a minimum of €500,000.
The most significant amendments are:
- Citizenship will be granted to individual investors investing €2 million who also purchase a residence valued at least €500,000. An additional residence valued at €500,000 will have to be purchased if an investor’s parents also wish to apply for citizenship.
- Investors also have the option to purchase government bonds up to a maximum of €500,000.
- Real estate ownership is for an indefinite period of time, while investments must be kept for a minimum of three years. In order to confirm that investments are held for at least 3 years, the Ministries of Interior and Finance must be informed annually, reporting the value of the initial investment.
Economic criteria introduce that the applicant should invest at least €2 million on purchase or construction of immovable property or creation of commercial or residential developments, development projects in the tourist industry or other infrastructure.
The investor may also invest in Cyprus companies.
Provisions for Cypriot citizenship will be evaluated in order to confirm that the businesses or companies are based in Cyprus, have a substantial activity and an important cycle of works, and they employ at least five (5) Cypriot citizens or citizens of the European Union. The minimum number of employees will increase in case that, one or more applicants invest at the same time in the same business or company. At the time of the application, employees should have a five year legal and continuous stay in Cyprus.
Applicants may also proceed in a minimum €2 million investment in Alternative Investment Organizations founded in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed and inspected by the Securities Commission and of which all investments are exclusive in the Republic of Cyprus and approved by the Ministry of Finance.