On the 13th of September 2016, the Council of Ministers in Cyprus approved the proposed amendments to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception. The said changes were put in place to bring in more Foreign Direct Investment to the country. It now means that applicants are able to apply on a stand-alone basis and the option of a collective application has been removed. Applicants are now able to invest €2M-€2.5M (exc. VAT), (previously €2.5M-€3M) into real estate and now parents can also be included with an additional investment of €500,000 into a residential property. A permanent residence permit will be issued to the applicant(s) prior to the issuance of citizenship unless a temporary permit is already held by the applicant. The previous requirement of bank deposits has also been abolished and the possibility of a combination of a variety of investments (real estate, financial assets, alternative investment funds) is now a viable option.
Although authorities in Cyprus did not reveal the total number of investors to date, the Interior Minister, Socratis Hasikos, stated that the programme has yielded over €2.5bn in revenues since its launch back in 2013.
The revised changes will come into full effect from 1st November 2016. The government is confident that the scheme will continue to attract Foreign Direct Investment from all across the world.