Amendments to the Cyprus citizenship by investment program in September 2016 have amplified the appeal of the already investor friendly Cypriot citizenship program, leading to an increased interest from foreign nationals.
The changes include:
- The investment amount has been reduced from €2.5 million to €2 million plus VAT, provided the investment is a residential immovable property or a number of residential immovable properties (one of which is at least €500,000 plus VAT). For all other investments the amount is €2 million plus a residential property of at least €500,000 plus VAT.
- It is no longer necessary to be grouped in a collective investment application with other applicants making it now possible to proceed individually on the basis of the thresholds in the first bullet point above. The previous requirement for collective investment applications of at least €12.5 million led to delays until a group of 5 or more applicants (which had invested at least €2.5 million) were grouped together in order for a collective investment application to be submitted.
- Importantly, the applicant's parents are now entitled to apply for citizenship through the same application, provided the parents have also purchased a permanent residence in Cyprus of at least €500,000 plus VAT.
- The investments attached to the application must remain for a minimum of three years, noting however that in order for the Cyprus citizenship to remain valid the permanent residence of at least €500,000 plus VAT must be held indefinitely.
- The maximum investment in Cyprus government bonds is now €500,000.
- Effective 31 October 2016, the provision of fixed bank deposits for three years is abolished from the citizenship by investment program. In the event an applicant wishes to proceed with an application for citizenship by investment using a fixed bank deposit, he/she may do so until 31 October 2016.
What remains unchanged is the speed of processing the application. Qualified applicants can be granted Cyprus citizenship approval within 90 days from submission of all necessary documents, making the Cyprus citizenship program the fastest in Europe.
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