Cyprus citizenship by investment scheme

Property
Real Estate
€2M
Purchase of home or residential properties in Cyprus
Government Bills
Treasury Bills
€2M
Non-interest bearing Government bonds and treasury securities fully refunded back after five years.
Capital investment
Business Enterprise
€2M
Investment in share capital in Cypriot businesses and companies

Cyprus is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, and a member state of the European Union. Cyprus enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate and the currency is Euro. The economy of Cyprus is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy rated as B+ by S&P. Cyprus is the hub of energy, shipping and an international tourist destination. Cyprus became the EU member state in May 1, 2004 and has close ties member states of the European union. Cyprus is a major hub for international trade and Cyprus is a full EU member country. The country suffered a banking bailout crisis and because of this, the country needs a significant foreign investment to recover. in the near future.

Cyprus island is a popular destination for tourists, attracted beautiful beaches and lively entertainment. Cyprus enjoys tropical Mediterranean climate with about 300 days of sunshine per year. Nicosia is the capital and Limossol is the largest city in Cyprus, besides Larnaka and Pafos. Because of the economic crisis in cyprus, the Government of Cyprus welcomes investors to invest in the country and has made the acquisition of passport with easy procedures and reduced investment amounts.

Citizenship benefits

  • Fast track citizenship approved within 3 months.
  • Lifetime EU citizenship with one-time lump investment.
  • Pleasant climate with mild winters and dry summers.
  • No physical residence requirements.
  • Redeemable real estate investment (no wasting money!)
  • No military service.
  • No cypriot language tests.
  • No restrictions on multiple citizenship (dual).
  • Best choice of investment in real estate (can be sold later)
  • No taxes based on citizenship, unless domiciled based on tax resident status.
  • Mix of investments allowed (real estate, bonds, business etc.)
  • Best education, healthcare and low cost of living.
  • Excellent education and health care system in EU
  • No visa required for travel to UK, EU member states, Canada, Singapore etc. over 160 countries
  • Live, work, study in 35 EU member states (Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, UK, Sweden etc..)
  • Future children automatically acquire EU citizenship.
  • Political stability and a high standard of living.
  • Low crime rates.
  • Easy application process with high approval rates.
  • Dependents, spouse and children under 28 can be included in one single citizenship application.
  • No requirement to relinquish current nationality (dual citizenship freely allowed)
  • The acquisition of citizenship in Cyprus is not reported to other countries.
  • No restrictions on any country.
  • Very high approval rates.

New Changes

In 2018, Cyprus government announced new changes to citizenship scheme. It was renamed as Cyprus investment scheme and the scheme is capped to 700 applications annually.

The Committee of Supervision and Control for the Cyprus Investment Programme was established which consists of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Interior and Invest Cyprus and was established on the basis of a Council of Ministers Decision, aiming at further improving the Cyprus Investment Programme.

As of July 31 2018, any applications for the Cyprus Investment Programme may be submitted on behalf of the applicants only by natural / legal persons registered with the Registry of Service Providers (Registry) of the Cyprus Investment Programme.

Qualifying Investments

  • Real estate –  €2 million
  • Government bonds  €2 million
  • Investment funds in Cypriot companies –  €2 million
  • Cypriot businesses or companies –  €2 million

 

1. Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects:

The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2,0 million for the purchase or construction of buildings or 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.

2. Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses

The applicant should have made a purchase or should have participated in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million. The invested funds shall be channeled towards the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan. The applications shall be evaluated to verify that the companies or organizations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or citizens of European Union member-states. The minimum number of employees shall increase, if more than one applicant invest simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same business or company. In addition, the employees of the companies need to have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application submission date.

3. Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec

The applicant should have bought units of at least €2,0 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed and supervised by the CySec and 3 whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this Programme or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance. In order to confirm that the investments that meet the criteria of the current Programme will be kept for at least three years, the manager or the auditor of the Fund shall inform in writing and on an annual basis, the Ministries of Finance and Interior with reference to the value of the initial investment. The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations of at least €2,0 million, such as bonds, bills and securities, issued with the approval of the CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus, and have as a purpose the financing of the investment plans of these companies or organizations exclusively in Cyprus, based on an investment plan, fall under this criterion. It is noted that the purchase by an AIF of units of other AIFs is not considered eligible.

4. Mix/Combination of the aforementioned investments:

The applicant may proceed with a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2,0 million. Within this criterion (combination of investments) the applicant may purchase special government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus, up to €500.000, which will be issued by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance, on condition that the investor will retain these bonds for a three-year period. The characteristics and the terms of these special bonds will be determined by the General and Special Issue Terms of the Government Bonds of the Republic of Cyprus. Investments in government bonds through the secondary market are not considered eligible.

Time Frame

Applications are processed within 3 months.  Permanent residency is first issued which is then converted to citizenship for investors and their families after 6 months.

Eligibility

1. The Investor’s name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU.

2. No Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the European Union.

3. Must make a personal visit to Cyprus atleast once (for fingerprinting and signing of documents with Government)

4. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T.

5. Family and unmarried children under 27 years in pursuing education can be included in one single application. It is 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.

6. Must have excellent references and background information.

7. There are no restrictions on any nationalities or countries who can apply.

8. Main applicant must be above 18 years of age.

Residence Permit

Six month residency requirements after investment for citizenship in Cyprus.

The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalization. If the application for acquiring an immigration permit is made solely for purposes of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship, in accordance with the provisions of this Programme, there are no other conditions than those stated in both Part A and Part B of this Programme. It is noted that all of the above also apply for the adult members of the family of the investor, who will apply for naturalization. In case the application for naturalization is rejected for any reason, the immigration permit, obtained in accordance with the provisions of this Decision, will be canceled immediately.

Additional fees

There are additional fees involved (see below)

APPLICANT APPLICATION SUBMISSION FEE CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE FEE TOTAL
INVESTOR €2.000 €5.000 €7.000
INVESTOR’S SPOUSE €2.000 €5.000 €7.000
INVESTOR’S ADULT

CHILD

€2.000 €5.000 €7.000
INVESTOR’S MINOR

CHILD

€80 €80

Processing time

Very fast, usually decisions are given within 70 to 90 days.

Application Process

The entire application process takes 90 days to receive the certificate of naturalization (proof of cypriot citizenship). This certificate is a proof that you have become Cypriot citizen. Our lawyers will help you with full hand-holding process from start to finish.

Step 1: Pay a retainer fee of €10,000 to authorized agent. This amount will be adjusted later towards the our lawyer and service.

Step 2: We will request initial documents in order and will do a due diligence check on you. If our lawyers are satisfactory complying with Government requirements, we will start the application process with Cyprus. If you fail the checks we will refund part of the initial fee. We do not accept clients who dont have 100% success rate.

Step 3: We will be assisting you complying with the investment conditions (buying real estate, bonds, business investment, accommodation etc). This should take about a month.

Step 4: Launch the citizenship application under the naturalization scheme.

Step 5: After about 3 months from the date of application, you will be issued certificate of naturalization (proof of citizenship) and using this certificate you can apply for Malta passport document.

Note: You have to maintain real estate / bonds for 3 years without any interruptions, if not your citizenship will be revoked.

Cyprus real estate

Cyprus real estate prices currently at the lowest, now is the best time to invest in real estate market taking advantage of prevailing low prices. The housing prices in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca are primarily driven by local demand. Paphos and Famagusta have seaside resorts and luxury villas are purchased by lots of foreigners. Nicosia, the capital is more expensive than other cities and cheapest is in Paphos. The rental yields vary according to the city usually 4 to 7%. The average cost per square metre for apartments ranges from 1300 to 2000 euros depending on the city . Luxury villas cost 2-3 million euros or upwards. Capital gains from sale of immovable property taxed at 20%

 

Under the Cyprus citizenship program, there is an option to qualify for economic citizenship by investing 2,500,000 euros in cypriot real estate. The applicant must also hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, + V.A.T.

Documents Required

The following documents are required in order to apply for citizenship.

In order to examine any applications the submission of the form (M127) and of the following is required:

1. Original Documents

Other documents needed such as

  • Copy of passports
  • Clean Criminal Record: Police Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if it differs). FBI clearance (if you have lived in USA).
  • Health clearance certificate from a registered medical practitioner.
  • Marriage certificates, Birth certificates (original translated in english)
  • Good reference letters from banks, lawyers, accountants,
  • Professional resume
  • Business background information and documents.
  • Educational certificates
  •  Proof of source of income

All original documents issued by a foreign authority should be translated to either Greek or English and be duly authenticated (They should bear the stamp «APOSTILLE», if they are issued by countries that have signed the Hague Convention, otherwise they should be sealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Cyprus in the issuing country).

2. Residence proof in the Republic of Cyprus:

(a) Contract of Sale.

(b) Title Deeds/ Receipt for lodging the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department

(c) Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price

(d) Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company

As for the Proof investment Criteria the following are required, depending on the case:

(a) Certificate of Registration of the company/ companies by the Registrar of Companies

(b) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies or certificates evidencing that the applicant is the beneficiary owner of the company/ companies

(c) Audited Accounts of the company (or companies) for the last three years preceding the year of the application

(d) If the applicant is a high-ranking senior manager the submission of the employment contract and the receipt from the Department of Inland Revenue is additionally required.

Any other document that might be requested either by the Ministry of Interior, or by the Ministry of Finance.

Furthermore, depending on the case, the following are required:

1. Investment in Government bonds

(a) Receipts from the Treasury of the Republic of Cyprus for the purchase of the Government bonds.

2. Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations

(a) Title/titles and other documents regarding the financial assets.

(b) Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization

3. Investment in real estate, land development or infrastructure projects

(a) Contract of sale.

(b) Title Deeds/ Receipt for lodging the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department

(c) Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price

(d) Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company

4. Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies

(a) Contract of sale.

(b) Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price

(c) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies or certificates evidencing that the applicant is the beneficiary owner of the company/ companies

(d) Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization

(e) Confirmation from the Social Insurance Department as to the insurable income of the Cypriot employees in the company

(f) Confirmation from the Inland Revenues Department as to the taxable income of the Cypriot employees in the companies or businesses that the applicant invested in.

5. Deposits in Cypriot banks

(a) Confirmation from Cypriot banks as to the fixed term deposits for three years of the applicant or the companies in which he is the beneficiary owner or of the trust in which he is the beneficiary owner

(b) Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution

6. Impairment of deposits in the Popular Bank

(a) Confirmation as to the level and the time of the impairment of the deposits

(b) In the case of deposits of companies of which the applicant is the beneficiary owner, the Certificate of Registration of the Company by the Registrar of Companies and/or any other evidence, along with a declaration from the trustee of the funds confirming the beneficial owner is to be attached

Cypriot Passport

Cypriot passport holders can visit 173 countries in the world without visa and ranks 15th best passport in the world according to 2018 Henley passport index.