The Council of Ministers, during its assembly on the 13.2.2019 has made changes to the current Cyprus Investment Scheme, affecting applicants as per the 26.2.2019 or as per the 15.5.2019. In broad the new terms are as follows:
1. To be enforced as per the 15.5.2019:
- The applicant should make a donation of at least EUR 75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation or invest at least the same amount in a certified innovative enterprise, which has acquired the relevant certificate by the Ministry of Finance, or a certified social enterprise (applicants investing at least EUR 400,000 in a company whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (construction companies are excluded), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources, are excluded from this requirement).
- The applicant should make a donation of at least EUR 75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation. The funds are used for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing and for the materialization of other housing schemes/measures.
- The applicant should be the holder of a valid Schengen visa.
- The previous reduction of EUR 500,000 applied to investments made solely in residential real estate is not eligible if any of such real estate was previously used under the scheme.
2. To be enforced as per the 26.2.2019:
- The applicant may invest in the shipping sector on the basis of measurable criteria which will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry.
- The applicant may invest in Registered Alternative Investment Funds.
- Investments in Government Bonds are no longer eligible.
- The investment should be kept for 5 years as opposed to the previous requirement of keeping such for 3 years.
- Applicants which have filed applications for citizenship in another country of the European Union and have been rejected are not eligible to file an application under the Cyprus Investment Scheme.
It should further be noted that the Council of Ministers has the discretionary power to reject an application even if all necessary documentation has been submitted and the Ministries of Finance and Interior may request any additional documentation and information at any stage.
Moreover, it is anticipated that more changes will occur in the examination procedure of the applications.