On September 13th, 2016, the Council of Ministers of Cyprus approved a major amendment to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception (section 111A (2) of the Civil Registry Laws 2002-2015). Whereas previously the scheme was available to groups of investors applying with a collective investment (EUR 12.5 million minimum), the amendment allows investors to make individual applications on the basis of making a EUR 2.5 million investment (subject to certain retention criteria, detailed below).
Under the scheme, several categories of investments are approved:
1) Real Estate
This category includes immovable property, real estate development or infrastructure projects. The applicant is required to make an investment of at least EUR 2,000,000 in the purchase and/or construction, and/or creation and development of commercial, tourist sector and/or any other infrastructure projects. The investment has to be held by the applicant for a minimum of 3 years. In addition to the investment, the applicant must purchase a residential property of at least EUR 500,000 (ex VAT), which must be kept permanently (unless replaced).
2) Cyprus business
An investment of at least EUR 2,000,000 in incorporating or purchasing a company (or a participation in a company), that has a physical presence and activities in Cyprus and employs at least five Cypriot or EU citizens who have been legally residing in Cyprus for a continuous period of at least 5 years. In case of multiple applicants, the minimum number of employees increases proportionately. Residential property – as above.
3) Financial assets
Financial assets of at least EUR 2,000,000 via an alternative investment funds (AIFs), registered and operated in the Republic of Cyprus and licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (the CySEC). Other financial assets may also qualify, subject to the Ministry of Finance’ approval.
Retention criteria and residential property – as above.
4) Combination of investments
Different asset classes can be combined for the purposes of the application, subject to a total minimum investment amount of EUR 2,000,000.
SUMMARY OF CHANGES: