Cyprus Citizenship-by-Investment Scheme Set to Raise EUR €3 Million in 2019
The Land Development Corporation (Ο Κυπριακός Οργανισμός Αναπτύξεως Γης Κ.Ο.Α.Γ or KOAG) has released its prospective figures for the 2019 financial year. The scheme hopes to generate some EUR €3 million in funds by the end of the year from the government’s citizenship-by-investment scheme.
Mr Panikos Argyrides, KOAGs vice-chairman presented the Cyprus House Finance Committee with the organisation’s balance sheet and key figures for this year. It has received nine successful applications under the scheme this year bringing in EUR €675,000.
He clarified that the funds (EUR €75,000 per passport) are only sent to KOAG once an application for Cypriot citizenship is approved, rather than upon being filed. By the year’s end, it’s projected that Approximately 300 passports are expected to be issued next year, earning KOAG a total of an additional EUR €22 million.
With EUR €3 million from the issuance of 40 passports throughout the entirety of 2019. Cyprus MPs heard how KOAG plans to use these funds to fund affordable student housing.
Following overseas criticism, the government introduced a series of changes to the citizenship-by-investment scheme back in February earlier this year, in order to make the scheme at watertight as possible without deterring possible investment.
The amendments included the following measures:
- A contribution of EUR €75,000 to research and development from the schemes proceeds.
- A contribution of EUR €75,000 to the Land Development Corporation to fund affordable housing schemes.
- Stricter criteria for applicants in the way of background checks by an specialised foreign, objective entity.
- Applicants are obliged to hold a valid Schengen Visa (a 90-day visa that permits travel within the Schengen Area for tourism or business purposes).
- Investors rejected by other EU states investment schemes can no longer apply.
Read about the full amendments here.
Although legal, these schemes that sell passports and visas to wealthy foreigners by countries such as Cyprus sometimes run in impervious ways and without enough checks on applicants wishing to receive visas and residency cards, the EC warned. The schemes mostly raise concerns about how some programmes can increase the risk of money laundering and tax evasion in Europe.
In Cyprus, the investment amount is EUR €2 million if the investment is made exclusively in residential real estate, at least a quarter of which must be spent on a place of residence for life.
If not, the threshold is EUR €2.5 million, of which EUR €500,000 must be spent on a permanent residence. For both options, the requirement of a permanent residence guarantees the investor holds life-long connections with Cyprus even without having the requirement of having to live and work on the island.
Are you thinking of applying for the Cyprus Permanent Residence Programme by Property Purchase: Category F Visa? Contact us, we have local immigration experts that would be happy to answer any questions you may have.