Following prolonged concerns from the European Commission as well as from critics of the Cyprus Investment Programme, Cyprus has announced changes to its Citizenship by Investment Scheme. The new rules are aimed to make the Investment Scheme more “trustworthy” and further facilitate the development of local economy.
Under the new guidelines, the applicants would be inspected by an international agency and must obtain a Schengen visa prior to applying for Citizenship under the Investment Programme in Cyprus. Applicants who were previously turned down by similar European schemes will not be accepted.
The threshold of funds required for investment has also risen to EUR 2.5 million, 0.5 mil. increase from previously required amount of EUR 2.0 million.
Finance Minister of Cyprus Harris Georgiades said that the new criteria would ensure procedures are more stringent.
The new rules also intend to fuel economy growth in Cyprus, making sure that inflow of funds from international investors into the Scheme is used wisely. According to Mr Georgiades, applicants will be required to make extra payments to support affordable housing, and research and development programs that could boost economic growth more directly.
The Mediterranean island has already tightened rules to the Programme last year, capping the number of passports being issued under the scheme to 700 per year.
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