On February 1, the Cypriot Parliament approved the future tightening of the law, suggesting changes in the scheme for obtaining “golden visas”. Initially, the amendments were to enter into force on 01.31.2020, but the dates were adjusted. Changes will take effect on May 15th.
10 Changes that will be Applied
Here is a list of 10 important changes which are going to be applied:
- The applicant is obliged to contribute € 150 thousand, including €75 thousand to the Research and Innovation Fund and the same amount to the Cyprus Land Development Organization. In essence, this is a gratuitous payment – money that the investor “gives” to the country. This change will bring some funds to Cypriot science.
- The applicant must keep the investment for at least five years from the date of obtaining citizenship. It is allowed, with the approval of the Ministry of Finance, to change the “point of application” of investments during this period.
- The applicant, who wants to invest in real estate, must submit a permit for city planning and a certificate of completion, signed by the project architect. If the project is not completed, he must either submit a bank guarantee from the seller (at 5% of the value of the object) or store 5% of the value of the object on a special account. If the acquired property was pledged to the bank, it is necessary to obtain a certificate from it.
- If the applicant purchases real estate (one object or several), which has already been used for obtaining citizenship, he may not buy permanent private housing if two conditions are met:
- at least one of the residential properties have to be worth more than €500 thousand;
- total investment should be at least €2.5 million.
- The applicant must have a Schengen visa, as well as a residence permit in the country for at least six months prior to naturalization. If there is no residence permit, you can apply for permanent residence at the same time as you apply for naturalization.
- Cyprus citizenship under an investment program cannot be obtained by an applicant who has been denied citizenship in any other EU country.
- Investments in government bonds cease to be a basis for citizenship. At the same time, investments in shipping and in organizations engaged in alternative investments are recognized as admissible.
- In two months, an independent body will be formed to conduct due diligence of the investor and his family members.
- The authorities of Cyprus each year will publish an annual report, which will indicate the number of persons who received naturalization, the applicants’ citizenship, and the area in which investments were made.
- The investment program with images of a Cyprus passport, symbols of the republic, and the EU cannot be aggressively advertised in public places and on the Internet.