In September 2016 Cyprus announced it was making significant amendments to its Citizenship by Investment program, the most radical of which was a drop of €3 million in overall cost, reducing the price of their CBI from €5 million to €2.5 million (or less), a move which is bound to spark dramatic interest with wealthy foreign nationals looking to acquire EU citizenship. The Cypriot government also announced that successful applicants could receive their citizenship in just 90 days, making the Cyprus CBI program that fastest in Europe.
Citizenship by Investment is a 21st century phenomena that allows high net-worth investors born to countries whose citizenship is limiting i.e., those from the Middle East, Africa and Asia the opportunity to gain an EU passport, become a dual citizen and enjoy the freedom to live and work unrestricted throughout the European Union.
This is achieved by an individual making specifically required financial investment usually the purchase of real estate and spending a period of residence (often token) in a country in return for that country’s passport and citizenship hence Citizenship by Investment.
Citizenship by Investment has proved to be mutually beneficial for both client and country; Malta for example generates more income from its CBI program than it receives in EU subsidies. However, there are plenty of critics of such programs, some who believe that one’s citizenship should not be interchangeable, that and that such a practice could lead to the spread of crime and terrorism.
In truth, each EU country that has a CBI program (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Malta included) is required by law to investigate applicants thoroughly, and in the history of Citizenship by Investment, not one successful applicant has gone on to commit major crime nor acts of terror.
Cyprus CBI Amendments
The government of Cyprus has not only decided to continue to continue with its CBI program, it has made to significant alterations to its requirements which they clearly believe will make their program more desirable, and attract more foreign investors.
Those changes are:
- Investment Amount
The investment amount has been reduced from €5 million to €2.5 million, a figure which includes property plus €500,000 in Cyprus government bonds. If the applicant’s investment portfolio includes the purchase of at least one €500,000+ permanent residency property, their total required investment is reduced to €2 million.
- Individual Applicants Accepted
It is now no longer necessary to form groups of five or more investors. Previously an applicant had to be grouped in a collective investment application with at least four other applicants. Now Â it is possible to proceed individually.
All investments purchased as part of the Cyprus CBI program must be retained by the investor for a minimum of three years. Crucially, in order for the investor’s Cyprus citizenship to remain valid, the purchased permanent residence valued at €500,000+ must be held indefinitely.
Previously the Cypriot government had demanded that individual applicants invest a minimum of €5 million, which made the Cypriot CBI the most expensive program in the world. The alternative requirement was that applicants form a collective investment that totaled a minimum of €12.5 million. This requirement proved to be both unworkable and unrealistic, certainly in the wake of far more reasonable and economically viable CBI programs available from other EU nations.
Fastest CBI Program In Europe
Successful applicants could be granted their Cyprus citizenship and passport within 90 days (three months), making the Cyprus CBI program the fastest in Europe. The Cyprus passport grant’s its holder visa-free access to 159 countries worldwide, including Canada, Australasia, Japan, Singapore, Central and South America and much of Africa. Cyprus in an EU member state, so a citizen of Cyprus is free to live and work in any European Union nation indefinitely.
If this article has sparked your interest in Cypriot citizenship, or indeed any other CBI program, contact 2ndPassports.com for further information, or advice on how to start the second citizenship process. On our homepage you will find a full range of the very best CBI programs available from Europe and the Caribbean. You can contact us direct via email, or if you prefer WhatsApp or Telegram. You can also speak directly to one of our expert representatives using our encrypted phone and Skype lines.[/column]