Key Changes to The Cyprus Investment Programme: Applicant Guide

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Earlier this year, the Cyprus Government announced several amendments to the Cyprus Passport Programme. This article is a brief rundown of the most important changes for applicants due to take effect next week.
While some economists have warned the new restrictions may deter applicants which could benefit the Cyprus economy, others have welcomed the changes, stating that they are keeping Cyprus’ integrity and safety by implementing increased timings for investment period, and obligatory donations.

From May 15th, the following regulations will come into force, rendering it mandatory for all potential investors applying to the Cyprus scheme:

All applicants must be in possession of a Schengen visa.
The investment period will be increased from 3 to 5 years. (applicants will be able to change their investment, as long as consent is granted from the Ministry of Finance).
Newly built properties investment will continue to be EUR €2 million.
Investment into government bonds will no longer be an accepted form of contribution to the scheme.
Shipping will be included in contribution to the investment sectors.
A planning permit will be required for all properties purchased for the scheme that are undergoing construction.
A compulsory government donation of EUR €150,000 will be required by all applicants.
Further due diligence and background checks shall be carried out on each applicant.
If a residential property has already been purchased under the old regulations, the required investment is increased to EUR €2.5m (an increase of €500,000).
Applicants who were rejected from European schemes will be excluded to avoid cherry-picking of the easiest based on an acceptance basis.