Cyprus citizenship by investment scheme was launched on 24th of May 2013, as per the decision of council of ministers, for naturalization of investors by exception requiring a minimum €5.0 million investment in real estate or €2.5 million (donation plus government bonds) in Cyprus.
Prior to 2013, Cypriot citizenship was granted on a discretionary basis by ministers required investors least €10 million for a passport. During cyprus financial crisis, investors who held deposits prior to 15 March 2013 and lost over €3 million were given citizenship.
In 2016, As a part of its policies aiming to further encourage Foreign Direct Investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus the Council of Ministers, on the 13th of September 2016, revised the “Cyprus Investment Program” and, thus, established the new criteria and terms for citizenship by investment program. The investment was reduced to €2 million
In 2018, the Ministry of Interior introduced further amendments to the CIP scheme
- CIP Naturalization by exception scheme named a as ‘Cyprus Investment scheme’
- The scheme limited to 700 applications per year
- Establishment of CIP registry of Government approved service providers
- Tightening of checks introducing enhanced due diligence checks
A total of 3,336 foreigners mostly from Asia, Europe and Arab countries obtained cyprus citizenship/passport through investment scheme between 2014 to 2018.
In 2018, about 330 citizens have been granted Cypriot passports.
As of Dec, 2018, there are 453 citizenship service providers in Cyprus, authorized for promotion of citizenship scheme by the Ministry of Interior.