Changes in Cyprus Investment Citizenship Program

The Ministers of Finance and Home Affairs put to the vote of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus amendments to the Cyprus Investment Program (CIP), which gives non-European citizens investing in Cyprus from According to the PIC, permission to obtain Cypriot citizenship exceptionally within approximately 6 months.

The final version of the proposed amendments after approval by the Council of Ministers and signature by the President of the Republic of Cyprus was published on the website of the Cypriot Ministry of Interior:

Applicable laws of PIC can be viewed here and are currently in effect until May 14, 2019

After this date, as of May 15, 2019, the applicable rules and additional criteria can be viewed here.

Us Offshore interviewed Mr. Nick Savva, Citizenship and Residence Advisor for one of the island’s few companies and who has extensive experience and knowledge in Cyprus residency and citizenship programs:

Dear Nick, thanks for being with us today. Could you describe the major changes to the Cyprus Investment Program?

As you know, my name is Nick Savva, and I am part of the Investor Immigration team at Offshore World in Cyprus. Our company has one of the largest investor immigration teams on Cyprus Island, and offers a full range of corporate services, as well as private client advice and legal services through its corporate network. In terms of Investor Immigration, we remain among the top 5 companies in terms of the number of investment citizenship applications filed annually. Thus, we are in a good position to offer our clients unique investment opportunities based on the specific requirements of each individual client.

According to the new amendments, most of which will only come into force on 15 May 2019, investors wishing to invest in Cyprus through the Cyprus Investment Program and proceed to Cypriot citizenship by way of exception will be in addition to the requirements already existing in the program, the following new criteria:

1. Donate to the “Research Promotion Foundation” for € 75,000. According to some criteria to be met, the investor can avoid this donation.

2. In addition, investors will also be required to make a donation to the “Cyprus Real Estate Development Company” in the amount of € 75,000.

3. Also, while in the past investors were required to hold their investments for a period of at least 3 years from the day of naturalization, from 15 May 2019 this period will be extended to 5 years.

4. Another important point is that if a purchased residential property has already been used by another investor in the PIC, the required investment amount is increased from EUR 2 million to EUR 2,5 million.

5. An applicant must hold a valid Schengen visa when applying for Cypriot citizenship unless he / she does not currently require an entry visa to visit Member States belonging to the Schengen area with his current passport.

In addition to the above, the following changes should produce immediate effects:

In cases where an applicant has already submitted an application for citizenship or residence permit in another EU Member State and has been rejected, the investor will not be allowed to apply for Cypriot citizenship through the PIC.

 When applying for Cypriot citizenship, the applicant must have a Schengen visa unless, with his current passport, he does not need an entry visa to visit the Member States of the Schengen area.

Q. What about requirements for real estate investments?

For any real estate investments, the following documents should also be provided to the authorities:

  • Planning license.
  • Property Completion Certificate (for completed properties). In the case of a property still under construction, at least 5% of the total value of the property must be locked in the form of a bank guarantee where the amount in question will only be released to sellers after completion of the property.
  • In case there is a mortgage on the property to be purchased, there must be a bank authorization.

Q. What about government bond criteria?

The public bond investment criterion has now been deleted. Can you explain better? Not much to explain in this case, government bonds used to be a program option, and now they are no longer part of the investment options.

Q. Can you name any other important changes?

Yes. Another important change is the fact that investments made in the Cyprus shipping industry will be considered as an eligible criterion for the PIC under certain conditions.

Q. When will these changes take effect?

All changes, except as noted above, are effective May 15, 2019.

Q. May 15, 2019. This means that before this date it is still possible to apply under current conditions and laws, correct?

Yes, it is possible to apply under current conditions as long as the application is submitted before the changes take effect in May. It is important to note that anyone who submits an application before May 15, 2019 will be able to benefit financially, as they will have to invest the amounts currently foreseen for the program and not the new amounts, which will be higher.

Q. Do you recommend that readers from around the world apply for the Cyprus Investment Program before these changes take effect? Why?

If anyone has decided to apply for PIC, we suggest contacting us now as it takes some time to gather all the necessary documentation, and making the investments before we can submit an application. By doing so, we can also prevent customers from incurring additional costs when new changes take effect and also ensure that they are within the annual quota of allowed applications for the program.

If you are considering applying for Cypriot citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Program, Us Offshore strongly recommends that you do so before these changes take effect.

If you would like more information about the Cyprus Investment Program, please contact us and request an appointment with Nick Savva.