In the 5 years of its operation Cyprus citizenship by investment programme has proved itself 100% reliable and very popular, the fact that is confirmed by quite a number of foreign investors acquiring Cypriot passports.
The programme is based on direct investment into equities or real estate but the latter is the most preferred option as it requires a lower investment threshold as well as a more secure and tangible asset that can be sold in 3 years after acquiring the citizenship.* Moreover, this €2 mln investment can bring rental income while the investor holds it and a good ROI when sold. Hence, it is of paramount importance to select your investment properties carefully, taking into account every single detail and referring to independent consultants based in Cyprus, who know the local realities.
Despite the fact that the programme is very transparent and straightforward, with strict compliance checks and thorough background research, over the years it has attracted a number of punches from mass media and EU commissions. Allegedly, the scheme has become a new escape tunnel for rich Russians and Chinese to launder money and secure a safety pad in case of troubles in the future. The “Panama papers” case only made things worse and parallels were drawn between the Maltese and the Cyprus programme participants.
The Government of Cyprus has continuously paid attention to issues affecting the country’s image, so it was only expected (and welcomed) when in 2018 the Cyprus government wisely adopted a few amendments to the programme to ensure its clarity and reliability as well as security for investors, given the popularity of the Programme and its immense contribution to the economy of the country.
The decision involves measures for the regulation of the service providers, and for the protection of investors under the program, through enhanced due diligence and strict rules related to the promotion of the Programme, in compliance with the EU’s concerns.
Still more changes have been introduced in June 2018, including a quota of 700 applicants per year (main applicants, excluding members of the family) as of 2018, introducing a code of contact with clear provisions to avoid any abusive practices and enhanced due diligence checks by specialized professionals. These amendments are there to ensure that the program remains strong and reputable, the investors feel safe and the country continues its economic miracle of recovering from the 2013 crisis ahead of all prognoses.
We fully support the actions taken by the government as the new rules will translate into a better market, better services and, in the long run, a better reputation of the island and its policies. We hold our hand on the pulse of the Investment Programme, possessing a thorough knowledge of the process and acting in full compliance with the new Code of Contact. We are also proud to be among the companies registered in the official Registry of Service Providers of the Cyprus Investment Programme (Noblestates Ltd, N 198 http://cipregistry.mof.gov.cy/en/)
*a property worth € 500 000 min should always be kept as a permanent residence
Should the idea of obtaining a new citizenship interest you, please feel free to contact us for a non-obligation online consultation with our experts. As part of a global Sotheby’s International Realty network, we have access not only to the Cyprus real estate best properties and services but also world wide database and can assist you in planning your investment, immigration and tax strategies.