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Cyprus citizenship program update

Cyprus Tightens Application Rules

May 2019: Cyprus Program Revisions

As anticipated, we are starting to see a tightening of application conditions for various EU residency/citizenship by investment programs. It appears 2019 marks the year during which it will become much more difficult to participate in one of these programs.

In general, these new conditions increase the financial investment minimums, lengthen the application procedure timeline, and tighten the due diligence procedures.

Potential applicants are encouraged to file their applications prior to these new rules taking effect in order to benefit from the current, more lenient conditions.

Specifically, we have been informed that Cyprus will be the first to tighten application conditions, effective May of this year.

While we are awaiting the official announcement, here are the anticipated changes:

- New compulsory, non-recoverable government donation in the amount of EUR 150,000.
- Minimum property investment increase to EUR 2.5 million for previously-owned properties. No change for investments into newly-built properties (EUR 2 million).
- Minimum property holding period increases from 3 years to 5 years.
- New, stricter due diligence procedure.
- Rejection of applicants who were rejected by another EU country or denied Visa Entry to Schengen.
- Other changes as to be announced.

If you might be affected by these changes please contact us immediately!

Our assessment of the situation:

There are currently three EU countries offering citizenship programs preferred by international investors due to their relatively short processing times of under 2 years till passport: Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta.

The drastic changes to the Cyprus citizenship by investment program are expected to be the first in a series of tightening rules across various European countries offering such programs, possibly including both Bulgaria and Malta (and others) as well.

We expect Bulgaria to be the next country to officially announce tougher application requirements, and our team in Bulgaria is closely monitoring government channels. We know for a fact Bulgaria is in the process of developing tightened standards, but no official statements have been made public as of yet.

The one country where there appear no changes to be imminent is Malta. However, the pressure exerted by Brussels on reforming citizenship by investment programs is palpable, and we cannot be certain that the precedent set by Cyprus will not have an impact on Malta as well.

In general, we believe it is safe to say that there is a clear trend in the EU towards making it more expensive and more difficult for investors to take advantage of the opportunity a second (or alternate) citizenship / passport offers. Across the board, immigration conditions will not get easier going forward – they will get tougher.

Should you be ready to start your application, or have any questions, please don‘t hesitate to contact us at your convenience.

Because immigration by investment programs can change over time please contact us to speak with an advisor or to receive a preliminary quotation. The information provided in this blog post is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice.

Click here for the Malta citizenship by investment program. Click here for the Malta residency programs.

To start the application process online please register here.

For a detailed cost estimate or to schedule a confidential consultation please use our contact form.

Zenturo Ltd.

Residency & Citizenship by Investment Programs Worldwide

394A / 395A, Triq il-Kbira San Guzepp
Santa Venera, SVR 1016

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