Changes to the Cyprus Investment Programme officially published in the Government Gazette on August 17-18.
The new terms of the programme are presented in comparison with the previous ones:
1. Previously: the amount of the donation (one-time non-refundable payment) was € 150,000.
Now: the amount of the donation has become € 200,000. The investment of a minimum of € 2 million for 5 years stays as before;
2. Previously: financially dependent adult children (18 to 28 years old) who were married, could apply for citizenship under their parents’ application.
Now: if they are married, they do not qualify under the parents’ application anymore;
3. Previously: under an investor's application for citizenship, only his/her parents could apply (for an additional investment of € 500,000).
Now: the parents of the investor's spouse can also apply (for an additional € 500,000 investment). It is allowed for the parents of both spouses to buy one property for at least € 1 million;
4. Previously: adult family members (children from 18 to 28 and the parents of the spouse) could apply for citizenship under the investor’s application only after the investor had been granted citizenship.
Now: adult family members can apply for citizenship at the same time as the main investor. This significantly reduces the time it takes to obtain citizenship for adult family members;
5. It is no longer allowed to create a development company and invest in own development projects in order to obtain citizenship;
6. If the applicant invests in a Cypriot company, then his/her company must employ at least 9 citizens of Cyprus or the EU, and not 5 as before;
7. The funds relating to all investments mentioned above 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 (copies of the wire transfers shall be attached to the investor application). Earlier, some relaxation was allowed on this matter;
8. Previously: a police clearance certificate had to be no older than 3 months.
Now: the term has been increased to 6 months;
9. Previously: politically exposed persons should not have held public office for five years at the time of applying for citizenship.
Now: the term has been reduced to one year. This is provided that they did not occupy significant political positions (heads of states or governments, ministers or their deputies, ambassadors, mayors of cities, etc.);
10. 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. The implication is
that, if convicted in another country, it is required that the specific crime also be considered a crime in the Republic of Cyprus, punishable by similar imprisonment;
11. Applicants who are under criminal investigation with a possible sentence of 5 years or more cannot apply for Cypriot citizenship either.
All other terms and benefits of the Programme remain unchanged.