Acquiring Cypriot Citizenship through the
Cyprus Investment Program
1. Cyprus is an attractive destination for investment for a number of reasons, some of which include its highly specialised human capital, the reliable legislative and regulatory framework, and the safety and stability conditions prevailing in the country.
2. The acquisition of a Cypriot passport and citizenship does not mean that the investor will automatically become a tax resident of Cyprus. To become one, they must spend at least 183 days of the year in Cyprus.
3. Cyprus allows dual citizenship so the investor does not have to give up their original citizenship.
4. Cyprus combines culture, climate and business and is known as a safe and pleasant place to live.
Applications may be submitted by non-Cypriot citizens who meet the financial criterion A.1 and at least one of the financial criteria A.2 – A.4 (see financial criteria below), either:
- personally, or
- through one or more companies in which they participate as
- a shareholder (in proportion to their holding percentage or through investments done by their spouse or jointly with their spouse), or
- a high-ranking senior manager of one or more companies, provided that they receive such remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues at least €100,000 over a three-year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.
Persons whose application for citizenship in any other EU member state has been rejected, are not eligible to apply for Cypriot citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Program.
A.1. Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land
Development Corporation (compulsory investment with exceptions)
A.1 (1) The investor-applicant must donate at least €75.000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation. If the investor-applicant wishes to donate a higher amount, the additional amount can be used to supplement the total amount of the investment made on the basis of criteria A.2-A.4.
The investor-applicant will not have to make this donation, if they have:
- invested at least €75.000 in a certified innovative or social enterprise, or
- made an investment under criterion A.3 (purchase or establishment or participation in Cypriot companies or businesses) of a total amount equal to 20% of the required investment amount (i.e. €400.000) of criterion A.3, in a company whose operations fall within the primary or secondary sectors (excluding constructions), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources.
A.1 (2) The investor-applicant must donate at least €75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing, but also for the materialisation of other housing schemes/measures. If the investor-applicant wishes to make a higher donation, the additional amount may be used to supplement the total amount of the investment made on the basis of criteria A.2-A.4.
A.2 Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects
Investment of at least €2 million for the purchase or construction of buildings, or for the construction of other land development projects (residential, commercial or for tourism), or other infrastructure projects. Investment in land under development is included, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land will be included in the application. Investment in land that is situated in a building zone of zero development is excluded.
A.3 Participation in or purchase or establishment of Cypriot companies or businesess
The investment must be of at least €2 million. The invested funds should finance the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus.
Investments in the shipping sector are eligible on the basis of measurable criteria that will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry.
The companies or organisations must have proven physical presence in Cyprus, significant activity and turnover, and must employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens. The number of employees will increase if more than one investor-applicant invests simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same business or company.
Α.4 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) or financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisations that are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec)
The investor-applicant must invest at least €2 million in the purchase of units from eligible AIFs and/or RAIFs, whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this Program or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance. These AIFs or RAIFs may invest up to €200.000 in secondary market stock-market values of the Cyprus Stock Exchange. The purchase by an AIF or RAIF of units of other AIFs or RAIFs is not considered eligible.
The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies/organisations (such as bonds, bills and securities issued pursuant to CySec’s approval) are included in this criterion, provided that the companies/organisations meet the Program’s requirements.
Yes, the investor-applicant may combine the investments outlined in the financial criteria, provided that the total amount of the investment is at least €2 million.
The investor-applicant must make the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least five years from the date of naturalisation.
The investor-applicant may replace the investment during the said five-year period, provided that they first obtain the approval of the Ministry of Finance.
Yes. The investor-applicant must own a permanent, privately-owned residence, the total value of which must be at least €500.000 plus V.A.T. If the purchase price of the said residence is higher than €500,000, the additional amount can be used to supplement the total amount of the €2 million investment.
Members of the same family who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence the total purchase price of which must amount to at least €500.000 per investor-applicant.
If the investor-applicant invests in housing units on the basis of financial criterion A.2, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000 plus VAT, and the investor-applicant retains possession of the residence for life. This exception does not apply if the investor-applicant invests in housing units that have already been used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship through this Program.
1. Prior to their naturalisation as a Cypriot citizen, the investor-applicant must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for a period of at least six months. If the investor-applicant does not hold a residence permit prior to the naturalisation, they may apply for an immigration permit at the same time as the application for naturalisation. In case the application for naturalisation is rejected, the immigration permit obtained in accordance with the provisions of this decision will be canceled immediately.
2. The investor-applicant’s name must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the European Union, have been frozen as the result of sanctions.
3. The investor-applicant must hold a valid Schengen visa. Third-Country nationals that do not require an entry visa to travel in EU member states, as well as citizens of EU member states, are excluded from this obligation.
4. Clean criminal record.
It is noted that all of the above also apply to the adult members of the family of the investor-applicant, who will apply for naturalisation.
SPOUSE/PARTNER. The spouse or partner of the investor-applicant may acquire Cypriot citizenship by submitting the relevant application at the same time as the investor-applicant submits theirs, so that both spouses/partners can acquire citizenship simultaneously.
MINOR CHILDREN. Applications for citizenship regarding minor children (under the age of eighteen) of the investor-applicant are submitted after the investor-applicant acquires Cypriot citizenship, provided that the other parent consents to the grant of the citizenship.
ADULT CHILDREN. Financially dependent adult children of the investor-applicant may acquire Cypriot citizenship by submitting the relevant application after the investor-applicant acquires Cypriot citizenship. Financially dependent adult children are:
- students up to the age of 28 who are attending an institution of higher education aiming to obtain a diploma or an undergraduate or a master’s degree (excluding professional qualifications), and
- children with a severe physical or mental disability that renders them unable to work.
PARENTS. The parents of the investor-applicant may apply for citizenship after the investor-applicant acquires Cypriot citizenship, provided that they own 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. The investor-applicant and their parents may collectively acquire a residence, the total value of which must be at least €1 million plus V.A.T.
The legislation pertaining to the grant of the immigration permit provides that only the spouse/partner and minor children (under the age of eighteen) of an immigration permit holder are considered dependent family members and therefore they may acquire the immigration permit without the submission of separate applications. All the other family members (i.e. parents and financially dependent adult children of the investor-applicant) need to submit separate immigration permit applications.
However, where the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship is concerned, each person needs to file a separate individual application.
Yes. If, following a periodic inspection, it is discovered that a criterion, term or condition of the Program has been breached, the granted naturalisation may be revoked. This applies to the investor-applicant as well as to their family members.
If naturalisation is revoked, or the application for naturalisation is rejected for any reason, the immigration permit will be cancelled immediately.
Please note that the Cyprus Investment Program was terminated on 1st November 2020 by decision of the Council of Ministers dated 13.10.20. Therefore, it is no longer possible to submit applications for naturalisation. However, our Firm is still registered as a Service Provider and we can offer our services regarding pending applications or any other related matters.
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