Citizenship by investment in Cyprus
The Cypriot government has formulated a fast track Cyprus
Citizenship by Investment program aimed at high net worth individuals making significant investments in the Island of Cyprus to enjoy Cypriot and European citizenship.
Legal basis of Cyprus Citizenship by Investment
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment is available to investors pursuant to the “Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception” on the basis of Section 111A (2) of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013, based on a Council of Ministers decision dated 19th March 2014. In virtue of this law, the Cyprus Council of Ministers may grant citizenship by naturalization to foreign entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment law provides for the granting of the Cypriot citizenship by investment to the spouse as well as financially dependent adult children of the investor. Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any additional financial criteria.
Eligibility for Cyprus Citizenship by Investment
• The Investor must have a clean criminal record from his country of origin and the country of residence (if it differs).
• The Investor’s name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU.
• The Investor must be aged 30 or over.
• The Investor must visit Cyprus at least once.
• The Investor can include their dependent spouse and children on the application. Children includes those up to the age of 18 and children from the ages of 18-28 if they are financially dependent on the main applicant. Additionally, an investors’ child with severe physical or mental disability that makes him or her unable to work is also considered as financially dependent.
• The Investor must own a private residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase cost of which must exceed the amount of €500.000 plus VAT and must be fully paid. It is to be noted that members of the same family, which apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home property covers the amount of €500,000 per each applicant.
Investments Eligible for Cypriot Citizenship
Deposits in banks operating in Cyprus for a minimum amount of €5 million and fixed for a 3 year period, or;
• Direct investment in Cyprus for a minimum amount of €5 million in any of the following ways:
• • Purchase of Cyprus Government bonds with a minimum maturity of 3 years
• • Investment in bonds or debentures registered and issued by Cyprus companies or businesses or organizations, with a minimum maturity of 3 years
• • Investment in real estate development projects, including housing or commercial development projects, tourist industry developments or other infrastructure projects (excluding undeveloped land);
• • Purchase, incorporation or participation in Cyprus businesses and companies that are based and operate in Cyprus. Such companies are required to have a physical presence in Cyprus and to employ at least five Cypriot citizens or;
• Combination of any of the criteria listed in the above two schemes, or;
• Major Collective investments comprising of an investment in the amount of €2.5 million per investor, where the total value of the collective real estate investment is at least €12.5 million, i.e. a group of 5 investors or;• Impaired deposits in the Bank of Cyprus and/or in the Popular Bank – the applicant has impaired deposits amounting to a minimum of €3 mln. In case of impaired deposits of less than €3 mln, the applicant can proceed to make additional investments under one of the above criteria.
An investment through a company, fund or foundation is eligible provided that there is a proven correlation between the investor and the company, fund or foundation.
Cypriot Citizenship Processing Fees
|Applicant||Application Submission Fees||Certificate Issuance Fee|
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Application Process
• An Application for Cyprus Citizenship by Investment is submitted to the Ministry of Interior with original supporting documentation and €2,0000 as government fees. The Ministry of Finance will assess the financial criteria of each applicant. At the Ministry of Interior, the original documents should be submitted, along with a copy of all the documents and the application forms. All the documents issued by a foreign authority should be translated either in Greek or in English and be duly authenticated.
• If the Investor meets the Criteria and Conditions required, the application is submitted by the Ministry of Interior to the Council of Ministers for approval.
• The application of the spouse is submitted concurrently with the application of the main applicant. Upon the approval of these applications, the children’s application will follow
• Once the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment application is approved, the Civil Registry and Migration Department issues the Certificate of Naturalisation, following payment of of €5,000 that constitutes the certificate issuing fee.
• Provided that such an application is duly submitted and accompanied by all the necessary supporting documents, and the investor meets the criteria and conditions of the decision of the Council of Ministers, the time frame for the completion of the process is approximately 3 months. It should be noted that the application submission date is the date on which the submission fees were paid.
• The applicant is required to visit Cyprus to give a sworn statement for accepting the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment.
• The Council of Ministers has complete discretionary power regarding approval of Citizenship Application.
Benefits of acquiring Cyprus Citizenship by Investment
• Citizens have the right to live and work within the 28 countries of the EU.
• Protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any EU country
• Right to vote and stand for European Parliament elections
• Free movement of goods, services and capital
• Visa-free travel to over 157 countries including the EU and Canada
• Citizenship can be passed to future generations by descent
• No need to renounce previous nationality as Dualcitizenship is allowed
• Cypriot Citizenship by Investment can be obtained within 3-6 months
• Cyprus is a common law jurisdiction