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Cyprus Introduces New Investment Options to its Permanent Residency by Investment Program

In November 2020, Cyprus’ Golden Passport, one of the most sought-after citizenship by investment programs in Europe that had been in operation for more than six years and welcomed hundreds of investors, was terminated. No other alternative has been proposed yet, which narrows the number of ways to apply for Cypriot citizenship. It is very likely that obtaining the desired passport through naturalisation route will shortly become more difficult and drawn-out. Luckily, Cyprus offers an investment-based permanent residency program that can be the initial step towards the island’s citizenship, and it has recently been revised and supplemented with new investment options.

After Cyprus had dismantled its highly popular Golden Passport program, it aims to compensate for the economic losses by expanding the investment opportunities. In order to attract more investors and their families, the Cypriot government has revised and amended the permanent residency by investment program. On 24 March 2021, the island’s Ministry of Interior announced the updated requirements of the program.

In addition to the previously existing option of purchasing residential properties, there is a range of new ones. Earlier investors were required to buy only a first-time sale property or a set of properties (two housing units from the same developer) starting from €300,000 (VAT not included). Now it has become possible to purchase commercial real estate, such as hotels, offices, and shops, for the same minimum investment amount — €300,000 (plus VAT). Therefore, investors are allowed to buy both categories of real estate, residential and commercial, at their own discretion, provided they meet certain criteria.

Another option that has been added to the program is an investment into Cyprus’ business enterprises. Applicants can purchase a share of a local company, subject to the following requirements: it must be registered and have a physical presence in Cyprus, as well as employ at least five people. The minimum investment amount is also €300,000. It is worth mentioning that being a stakeholder of such a company enables the investor to receive dividends.

Moreover, qualifying applicants can choose to purchase a share in a Cypriot investment fund for the same investment amount of €300,000. The funds must be invested into collective investment undertakings, which mitigates the applicant’s individual risks. To keep the residence permit valid, the investment has to be maintained throughout the duration of the residence permit.

The requirement to have deposited at least €30,000 in a Cypriot bank has now been cancelled. Instead, there is the following obligation: an investor has to confirm they do not have any intention to be employed in Cyprus, besides holding the position of Director in the company they have invested into, without being paid a salary.

The variety of investment options Cyprus has introduced allows investors to pursue different financial goals. Moreover, the minimum investment threshold under the Cypriot permanent residency by investment program is lower than in most European countries running similar schemes, which makes this program highly competitive. Furthermore, holding a Cypriot residence permit enables an applicant to potentially become a fully legitimate citizen of Cyprus and therefore the European Union. Needless to say that by joining the Schengen Agreement shortly, the island will provide freedom of movement within the Schengen Area. These and many other benefits offered by the permanent residency by investment program of Cyprus make it very attractive for investors from all around the globe.

Would you like to apply for permanent residency of Cyprus? Contact GLS Private Office, and we will be happy to answer your questions and find a solution that suits all your needs.

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