4 important updates to the existing Cyprus Investment Program

Investment Program of Cyprus provides the possibility to gain Cypriot citizenship and obtain the passport through an investment of EUR 2 million and subject to compliance with stringent requirements.

On 1st August 2018, changes took place in the Cyprus Investment Program, the most important of which are listed below.

1.     Limited amount of applicants

The government has capped the number of applicants, limiting it to 700 investors per year starting in 2018 (main applicants only, not including family members).  

What does it mean? Each year, the number of applicants grows. In 2015, for example, there were 337 investors whilst in 2016 that number increased to 443. In 2017, 503 investors obtained Cypriot citizenship.

2.    Longer processing time

The minimum time for application review has been increased from three to six months. The government has explained this by the need for a more thorough due diligence process.

What does it mean? In practice,the application review has always taken up to 6 months. However, the actual time for consideration of documents can take up to 9 months and lead to additional costs on the part of investors.

3.    Reduced providers list

Individuals and companies that offer consulting services will now need to obtain a license. Citizenship applications submitted by unlicensed companies will not be accepted.

What does it mean? The new rule will help avoid misinformation from incompetent advisors. For the investors, the list of providers may be reduced, but it will lower the risk of working with unscrupulous specialists.

4.    Property ownership regulations modified

Applicants will have to maintain their investment in real estate for at least three years. In the past, that period was considered from the date of registration of the sale-purchase agreement. Nowadays, however, it is the date of issue of the town planning permit.

What does it mean? This regulation will accelerate the issuing authorities’ work pace and shorten delays.   

Names of investors who obtain Cypriot passports will continue to be disclosed.

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