Hany Mostafa Moawad
On Tuesday, the 7th of March, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly issued Decree no. 876/2023, which introduces a host of changes to the country’s citizenship by investment program (CIP), specifically regarding the program’s investment criteria.
The changes include notable reductions in minimum investment thresholds for some investment categories, shorter holding periods for others, and an installment-based payment plan for two of the investment options.
The adjustments to the program’s investment categories are as follows:
- Donation: The minimum investment amount for the donation option remains at $250,000. However, applicants now have the opportunity to pay it in installments over one year. During that year, the government will grant them a tourism residence permit valid for the period, and they will receive citizenship once they pay the amount in full.
- Real estate: The new law cuts the minimum investment amount for real estate investments from $500,000 to $300,000 and also allows applicants to transfer the investment amount in installments over one year. The new law will enable applicants to purchase real estate owned by any Egyptian company, not just state-owned property, as has previously been the case.
- Bank deposit: The government will reduce the non-interest bank deposit option minimum investment amount to $500,0000 with a holding period of three years. Applicants can recoup their principal after the holding period is over, but they will do so on the withdrawal date’s exchange rate and with no accrued interest. Previously this option required a $750,000 investment held for five years, or $1 million held for three years.
- Capital investment: The government will reduce the business investment threshold from $400,000 to $350,000, but applicants will now be required to pay a $100,000 donation in addition to their capital investment. Another change removes the condition that applicants own at least 40% of a company’s shares, allowing them to invest in any Egyptian company, be it an established or a new one.
- Source of funds: Another update that affects all of the investment options is the removal of the requirement that the investment amount be transferred from outside of Egypt. Applicants can now pay by cash from within the country, as long as that money has entered through an official customs checkpoint.
The Decree will now go to the Egyptian Parliament, where the ruling Nation’s Future Party holds an absolute majority.
After a slow start since its inception in June 2020, owing to what’s been characterized as lethargic processing practices, the Egyptian CIP picked up pace in 2022, issuing its first approval in February. Since then, a further 200 investors have received approvals 200 approvals following exhaustive vetting procedures involving seven different state organs.