A number of changes approved in February by the Council of Ministers in regard to the “Cyprus Investment Programme” by which investors obtain the citizenship of EU-member Cyprus come into effect today.
The changes aim to enhance trustworthiness of the Programme which has been much-criticised as the easy way towards ‘golden passports’.
The programme’s stricter criteria aim to ensure due diligence procedures are more stringent and effective. Such as the measure of thorough scrutiny of each applicant carried out by an independent international house, the obligation for investors to obtain a Schengen visa and the exclusion of applicants who have been rejected by other EU member states with similar schemes.
In addition, applicants should go ahead with the necessary investments three years before submitting an application and maintain these for another three years after naturalisation.
At the same time, they must meet certain economic criteria when submitting an application, such as:
-Property, development and infrastructure investments of €2 million
-Purchase, establishment or participation in companies based and in operation in the Republic, paying at least €2 million
-Applicants will be able to invest €2 million in alternative investment organisations
-A combination of the above investments, which must be at least €2 million
Moreover, investors are now obliged to a mandatory donation of €75,000 to the Foundation for Research and Innovation as well as to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation. This obligation can be waived under certain conditions.