The Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, have listed the requirements for the projects under construction. Your statement that, "I was told that upon application I only need to submit an investment plan of the land purchased. If everything goes well, I could be granted citizenship within six months, although by then I would have not actually started the development," is not correct. In order to be able to apply for Cypriot investment program with the above scenario, you need to have a license, a permit for building and construction by the relevant authority. Additionally, you need a business plan as you mentioned. The government can carry out inspections and/or request a progress report of the project. If at any point the government will see that the granting of a passport was given based on fraudulent/incorrect information, then they can revoke the passport and proceed with criminal charges against you.
What is the required timeline for land development under Cypriot citizenship-by-investment program?
I have a lot of experience in running private hotels/guest houses in my home country and would like to open my own business in the same industry after obtaining Cypriot citizenship. After some site inspection, I decided that purchasing land then developing the building would be a better fit for me over purchasing an existing property. I was told that upon application I only need to submit an investment plan of the land purchased. If everything goes well, I could be granted citizenship within six months, although by then I would have not actually started the development. What are the requirements for the construction and a development timeline after the application? Will anyone check my development progress regularly and will my citizenship be at risk if the actual construction does not go as the original plan described?
The ministry would require an annual confirmation from the project's civil engineer or architect declaring the stage of completion of the project. Thereby, the status would be confirmed every year, at least for the three years that you are obliged to maintain your investment. Citizenship should not be at risk, as the construction is indeed taking place.
Please note that the development of land falls under criterion A.1, investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects. The applicant must have made an investment of at least 2 million euros for the purchase or construction of buildings, for the construction of other land development projects (residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector) or other infrastructure projects. It is noted that investment in land under development is included in this criterion, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land will be included in the application. It is understood that investment in land that is situated in a building zone of zero development is excluded. Following the above, it is important to know how much the price of the land you intend to purchase is and what amount would have been paid at the time of submitting the application in line with the relevant guidelines. As far as the checks are concerned, please note that they may take place. Please also note that you must also possess a permanent privately owned residence in the republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least 500,000 euros, plus V.A.T. The above is not a legal opinion.