The Cyprus government has revised the citizenship-by-investment scheme in order to attract more non- EU entrepreneurs and investors to engage them in the Cyprus economy. The key issue is to ensure that the investors have Cyprus as their prime residence as well as their main economic interests and activity being on the island also.
From the organizational perspective these businesses must have at least 5 local nationals in their employment. An additional and very important provision is that the individual seeking Cypriot citizenship has to invest a minimum of only €2 million, which is a large drop from the amount previously specified, and this has to be invested and held in Cyprus for a minimum period of three years.
The qualifying investments are in residential properties, development projects, government bonds, commercial properties, local businesses, financial assets, etc., these can also be sold after the 3 year period.
Additionally, the applicants to qualify for citizenship have to prove that they have obtained permanent residency permits and are the legal owners of their residential property worth which must have cost a minimum of €500,000.
This relaxation of the rules is a very positive initiative by the government encouraging a whole new market segment of non–EU nationals to make a new life in Cyprus. Cyprus citizenship grants the investors the same rights as any other Cypriot national enjoys.
Interior Minister, Socrates Hasikos revealed that the Cyprus Passport program has brought to Cyprus €3.3 billion in investments out of which €1.8 billion has been specifically applied to real estate investments.