The purpose of the Cyprus Investment Programme is to encourage Foreign Direct Investment and High Net Worth Individuals to relocate and undertake business in Cyprus subject to the below criteria.
CYPRUS AS AN ATTRACTIVE DESTINATION FOR INVESTMENT:
- Highly specialized human capital;
- Reliable legislative & regulatory framework;
- Stable tax system and one of the lowest tax jurisdictions in the EU;
- Advanced and high-rising economy;
- Cyprus is promoted as one of the safest & stable jurisdictions in the world;
- Cyprus offers a rare combination of culture, climate and business opportunities.
1. ECONOMIC CRITERIA
On the basis of the Programme, a non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one (or more) of the Economic Criteria (as further detailed below) may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception which may be done either: personally or through a company/companies in which he/she participates as a shareholder, in proportion of his holding percentage, or through investments undertaken by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/companies.
A high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues of at least €100,000 over a three (3) year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.
The respective applicant must have made the required investments during the three (3) years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three (3) years as from the date of the naturalization. It is emphasized that as from 15th May 2019, the applicant will have to retain the said investments for a period of at least five (5) years instead of three (3) as indicated above. It is further understood that the investor may replace the investment during the said period, provided that he/she has obtained prior approval by the Ministry of Finance.
In addition, the applicant must abide by and fulfil the Terms and Conditions as stipulated in paragraph 2 below.
It must be indicated that in the event where, following a periodic inspection, it has been established that an economic criterion or a term and condition has been breached, the granted naturalization may be revoked.
The FINANCIAL CRITERIA are as follows:
- Investment in Real Estate, Land Development & Infrastructure Projects: at least €2.000.000. It is noted that if the applicant invested in housing unit/s on the basis of this criterion, the purchase of another permanent residence (see paragraph 2(f)) will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000 (plus VAT), and provided that the applicant/investor retains the possession of the residence for life. As of the 15th May 2019, it is noted that if the applicant has already invested in housing units used for the purposes of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Programme, the entire investment including the permanent residence in the Republic of Cyprus, must be of at least €2,500,000.
- Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses: at least €2.000.000 for the purchase or participation in companies or organisations established and operating in the Republic. It is noted that 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 Duty Ministry.
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot Companies or Cypriot Organizations licensed by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec): the applicant should have bought units of at least €2,000,000 from alternative investment funds (AIF) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) established in the Republic, licensed/registered and supervised by CySec and whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic in investments that meet the criteria of the Programme or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance.
- Combination of the aforementioned investments: provided that the total investment will amount to at least €2,000,000.
- Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation*: As from the 15th May 2019, the applicant must have donated at least €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation and a donation to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation of at least €75,000 for the financing of housing schemes/measures. Please note that the aforementioned requirements are subject to certain exceptions and other terms and conditions.
*It is noted that the Council of Ministers during its meeting on the 06th May 2019, decided that investors, who have concluded agreement/s for the purchase of immovable property (either within Criterion (A) above) or aiming at the fulfilment of the requirement for the possession of a permanent residence in Cyprus (see below in paragraph 2(f)), will be exempted from this obligatory fulfilment, provided that the purchase agreement/s will be stamped until the 15th May 2019 and will bear a seal of the Stamp Duties Commissioner dated until the 15th May 2019 (included). The aforementioned exemption will be in force for applications that will be submitted until the 15th July 2019 (included).
2. TERMS & CONDITIONS:
1. Clean Criminal Record – from the country of origin and the country of residence (if different);
2. Self-Declaration by the Applicant – declaration by the Applicant who has received services for the purposes of the Cyprus Investment Programme;
3. Self-Declaration by the Service Provider – For the purposes of the Cyprus Investment Programme;
4. Due Diligence Report – must be issued through an internationally accepted database (i.e. World Check, LexisNexis Diligence etc.);
5. Declaration by the Applicant – concerning any citizenship applications he/she may have submitted in any other EU member-state(s). It is indicated that any applicant whose application for citizenship in any other EU member-state had been rejected, is not eligible to apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through the Programme.
6. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus – In all financial criteria listed in Paragraph 1 (above), the Applicant must possess 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.
7. Residence Permit in Cyprus – The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen, must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for a period of at least six (6) months. 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.
8. Schengen Visa - As from the 15th May 2019, the applicant must hold a valid Schengen Visa. Third-country nationals that do not require an entry visa for travelling in the EU as well as citizens of EU member states are excluded from this obligation.
Disclaimer: This brochure has been prepared for informational purposes and it is only intended to provide a general guide as to the process of obtaining the Cyprus citizenship via the Cyprus Investment Programme. None of the information provided herein should be construed as legal advice.