Changes in the Cyprus Investment Programme (“CIP”)

March 5, 2019

The CIP is one of the most attractive programmes of its kind that results to the Cyprus naturalisation and consequently to the obtaining of a Cyprus passport for investors.

The revised CIP is put into effect from the date of its publication in the Government Gazette - i.e. the 26th of February 2019 and it relates to all CIP applications submitted after the 15th of May 2019.

Said changes are set out below in detail:

  1. A compulsory donation of €75,000 to the “Foundation for Research and Innovation” to promote the creation of an entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. This obligation can be waived if the applicant invests at least €75,000 in a certified, by the Ministry of Finance, Innovative Business or Social Welfare Company. Alternatively, this obligation can be waived if the applicant makes an investment under the “Acquisition or Incorporation or Participation in Cyprus companies” amounting to a total equal of at least 20% of the required investment cost of the criteria mentioned (i.e. a €400,000 investment) to a company which is active in the primary or secondary sector of the economy or in one of the fields of research and technology, education, health, and renewable energy sources.
  2. A compulsory donation of €75,000 to the “Cyprus Land Development Corporation”; aiming at the contribution to the integrated housing policy, in particular for the implementation of affordable community housing projects and the implementation of other housing plans/measures. This obligation cannot be waived.
  3. The total amount of investment in housing units that have already being used under the CIP, including the privately-owned permanent residence, shall be at least €2,500,000.
  4. Investments in the Shipping sector, based on specific measurable criteria, shall be included in the CIP. Criteria shall be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Deputy Ministry of Shipping.
  5. Investments in the Cyprus Registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), as well as the possibility to invest up to €200,000 in the Cyprus Stock Exchange’s secondary market, shall be included in the CIP.
  6. In cases of residential units that have already been used for the purposes of the CIP and will be reused within the same programme, and in cases where the applicant has made investments in residential unit(s) under the "Investment in Immovable Property, Land Development and Infrastructure Projects" criterion, then it is not required to purchase another private residence in the Republic of Cyprus, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000. This applies if the 3 total investments, including private residence, amount to at least €2.5 million.
  7. Obligation to maintain the required investments for a period of at least 5 years from the date of naturalization, instead of 3 years.
  8. Government bonds are now abolished as an investment option. 
  9. Applicant must have a Schengen visa in order to be able to apply for naturalization.
  10. Applicant who applied for the acquisition of citizenship in any other Member State of the EU and has been rejected, will not be entitled to acquire the Cypriot citizenship within the framework of the CIP.

For more information please contact George Economides directly, at [email protected].