04.03.2019  Reforming Cyprus ‘Golden Visa Scheme’

04.03.2019  Reforming Cyprus ‘Golden Visa Scheme’

Golden visa schemes can allow wealthy individuals to obtain citizenship or residence in another country, by investing capital into that country’s economy. Currently, Cyprus is one of three EU countries that grant investors citizenship without requiring them to physically reside in the country.

In the wake of a warning issued by the European Commission in January this year, which stated that golden visa schemes offered by a number of EU states could be used as a channel for illicit activity, increasing the risk of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, the Council of Ministers in Cyprus has announced that several changes to its ‘golden visa scheme’ going to be implemented by May 2019.

These changes are meant to provide additional scrutiny into the background of applicants and the origin of the funds they are investing in Cyprus.

Changes to the Cypriot ‘golden visa scheme’ include the following:

  • The minimum investment for the purchase of re-sale property will increase from €2 million to €2.5 million (the minimum investment for purchase of new real estate will remain at €2 million);
  • A mandatory donation of €75,000 to Cyprus’ Research and Development fund and €75,000 to the Land Development Organisation;
  • The period for maintaining investments after naturalisation will increase from 3 years to 5 years;
  • During the 5-year period the investor will only be permitted to change his investment provided he has been granted consent from the Ministry of Finance;
  • Investments in the shipping industry will qualify;
  • Investments into government bonds will no longer qualify;
  • A planning permit will be required for properties under construction;
  • Applicants must hold a valid Schengen visa at the date of application;
  • Applications made by individuals who have previously been rejected by another EU county will automatically be rejected;
  • A specialised firm will undertake mandatory background checks on all applicants.

Should you wish to obtain legal advice in relation to any aspect of the current Tier 1 (Investor) or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) routes, or EU citizenship by investment, please do not hesitate to contact us on  +44 207 129 129 6 or chat with us now.