Cyprus citizenship via investment


Cyprus Citizenship by Investment

Investors and their immediate family are granted all legal rights of EU citizens!

  • Obtain a passport in 90 days
  • No language proficiency test required
  • Visit 157 countries visa free
  • Utilise a tax efficient structuring for investor’s business
  • Eligibility to labour and capital movement in EU
  • Access to education, medical and welfare facilities
  • Have asylum in case of political unrest
  • 3 years later the investment can be sold

 

The legislation

In 2013, the Council of Ministers adopted the most attractive Cyprus citizenship by investment scheme for naturalization for foreign entrepreneurs which was revised on 13/09/2016. The scheme does not only provide for  a foreign investor to acquire the Cypriot citizenship via an investment of €2 million; it also allows the spouse, the children (below the age of 18) as well as the financially dependent adult children of the foreign investor to acquire the Cypriot citizenship without obligation to meet any financial criteria.

 

 

Acquiring Cypriot citizenship: Naturalisation

Naturalization is the process by which a foreign citizen acquires the Cypriot citizenship.

 

Who can apply?

A non-Cypriot citizen who meets the economic criteria listed in sections I and II below and has made investments in Cyprus as per section I, either:

  • Personally,
  • Through a company in which he/she participates as a shareholder,
  • Or the applicant is a high ranking senior manager of a Cypriot Company and receives remuneration which generates Republic tax revenue of at least €100,000 (approx. €125,000 p.a) for a 3 year period and has executed all tax payments to the state.

 

SECTION I (ECONOMIC CRITERIA): 

  • Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects:

The applicant must have invested of at least €2 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).

OR

  • Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies:

The applicant must have invested at least €2 million in the purchase, creation or participation in businesses or companies that are based and are operating in the Republic. These businesses or companies should evidently have a tangible presence in Cyprus and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or European Union citizens.

OR

  • Investment in Alternative Investment Funds registered in Cyprus
  • The applicant must have purchased financial assets of at least €2 million in an organisation of alternative investment funds (AIFs) which is registered and active in Cyprus.
  • The applicant must have purchased financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organisations (bonds/ securities/ debentures registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus) of at least €2 million.
  • Combination of the aforementioned criteria amounting to at least €2 million. In this case an option for purchasing state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of up to the amount of €500,000 is available.

 

  SECTION II ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS 

The applicant must additionally have:

  • Clean criminal record
  • House in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Section I, 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.

Note:  members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of the declared home-property amounts to €500.000 per applicant.

  • The applicant must have a permanent residence permit.

Note: The applicant can apply for the permanent residence permit simultaneously with the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship application.

What is the procedure?

  1. Submission of an application:

The application is submitted at the Ministry of Interior along with the following documents in original form (translated into the Greek or English language and sealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Cyprus in the issuing country):

  • Letter by the applicant or by the representative of the applicant, stating the investment criterion, under which the application is submitted.
  • Application Form M127 fully completed and signed before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer
  • Birth Certificate
  • Copy of passport
  • Certificate of criminal record from the country of origin, as well as the country of residence (if it differs)
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Copies of advertisements in a daily newspaper two consecutive posts
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Documents concerning the permanent privately-owned residence of the applicant in Cyprus:
  • Contract of Sale
  • Title Deeds/ Receipt for lodging the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department
  • Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price
  • Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company

If the applicant is a high-ranking senior manager the following documents should, also, be submitted:

  • Copy of the employment contract and
  • Copy of the receipt by the Inland Revenue Department

If the applicant meets the criteria and the conditions, the Minister of Interior presents the case to the Council of Ministers for final decision. Once the application is approved, the Civil Registry and Migration Department issues the Certificate of Naturalization, following payment of the Naturalization Certificate issuing fee.

  1. Naturalisation of Family members: 

Investor’s Spouse

The application is submitted at the Ministry of Interior along with the following documents in original form (translated into the Greek or English language and sealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Cyprus in the issuing country):

  • Application Form M127 fully completed and signed before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer
  • Copy of the investor’s Certificate of Naturalization (if the application is not submitted simultaneously with the investor)
  • Copy of the investor’s Cypriot passport (if the application is not submitted simultaneously with the investor)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Copy of passport
  • Certificate of criminal record from the country of residence of the applicant
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Copies of advertisements in a daily newspaper two consecutive posts
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae

Once the application is approved, the Naturalization Certificate fees must be paid.

Investor’s adult children (18 years old or above) 

Adult children of an investor are considered as financially dependent, if they are students up to the age of 28 and are attending an institution of higher education aiming to obtain a diploma, an undergraduate or a master’s degree.

The application is submitted to the Ministry of Interior, after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship along with the following documents in original form (translated into the Greek or English language and sealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Cyprus in the issuing country).

The list of the necessary documents:

  • Application Form M127 fully completed and signed before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer
  • Copy of the investor’s Certificate of Naturalization
  • Copy of the investor’s Cypriot passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Copy of the applicant’s passport
  • Certificate of criminal record from the country of residence of the applicant
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Copies of advertisements in a daily newspaper two consecutive posts
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of the undergraduate degree (if the applicant studies for a master’s degree)
  • Certificate of attendance at a Higher Education Institute (Original)

or

  • Medical Certificate attesting the disability (Original)

Investor’s minor children (under the age of 18) 

The application is submitted after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, where it is also processed. The list of the necessary documents is as follows:

  • Application Form M126 fully completed and signed by the parent before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer
  • Copy of the investor’s Certificate of Naturalization
  • Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Parent’s marriage certificate
  • Copies of the child’s and parents’ passports
  • Certificate of criminal record from the country of residence of the applicant
  • Written Consent of the non-Cypriot parent
  • Two passport size photographs

The immigration team of our firm along with our associates have extensive expertise and knowledge to assist and guide you through any step of the process of acquiring the Cypriot Citizenship, hence we remain at your disposal for any enquiries you may have.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

GENERAL MATTERS 

  1. What is the time frame for the examination of an application?

Approximately three months.

  1. Should investments be necessarily made by the investor personally or can they be made through company/companies of the investor or an investment fund or an investment foundation?

An investment through a company or fund or foundation is eligible, provided that there is a proven correlation between the investor and the company or fund or foundation.

  1. What conditions must be met, so that a high – ranking senior manager of a company/ companies may apply for Naturalisation on the basis of this Scheme?

The company/ companies  employing the manager must have completed such an investment in Cyprus that meets one of the economic criteria stipulated in the Decision of the Council of Ministers. If and when the investment is completed the executive may apply for Naturalisation provided that he/she has paid or prepaid an income tax amounting to €100.000 for a three-year period and has acquired a permanent residence of purchase value at least €500.000.

 

INVESTMENT IN REAL ESTATE, LAND DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS 

 

  1. Is the purchase of land included in the criterion? 

This criterion includes investments for the purchase or construction of buildings, or other land developments (residential or commercial developments, in the tourism sector or other infrastructure projects). Therefore, purchase of land cannot be interpreted broadly and the restriction concerning the purchase of land has not been lifted.

  1. Is the VAT included in the amount of the €2 million investment or in the amount of the €500.000 purchase value of the privately-owned residence? 

The VAT is neither included in the amount of €2 million for the “Direct Investments”, nor in the amount of €500.000 required as a minimum purchase value of the privately-owned residence.

  1. In the case of purchase of real estate are transfer duties included in the amount of the €2 million investment? 

The transfer duties are not included in the amount of the investment, as no other charges or taxes are.

  1. If there is a difference between the market value and the purchase value of a real estate, which amount is taken into consideration? 

The purchase value.

  1. Would a real estate sold for a second time be considered as an investment for the purposes of applying for citizenship? 

According to the contents of the Council of Ministers’ Decision, the eligible investment is not limited to properties purchased for the first time.

 

PURCHASE OR CREATION OR PARTICIPATION IN CYPRIOT BUSINESSES OR COMPANIES 

 

  1. What do tangible presence of companies or businesses in Cyprus mean? 

The companies or businesses in which the applicant shall invest must maintain offices in Cyprus.

  1. How is the creation or participation in the companies/ businesses proven? 

The creation or participation is proven by the purchase of the company’s or business’ shares, either existing shares, or through capital increase.

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS EXPLAINED

 

Residence in Cyprus

  1. Is the purchase value of the privately – owned residence included in the investment or is it additional? 

The purchase value of the privately-owned residence of the investor in Cyprus is not included in the minimum investment but is rather it is additional.

However, if an applicant decides to invest in the purchase of a privately – owned residence solely at the amount €2 million he/ she is not obliged to buy another privately – owned residence of purchase value €500.000.

  1. Can the investor rent to someone else his/ her privately-owned residence? 

Yes

  1. Can the investor sell his/ her privately-owned residence and purchase a different one of the same or higher purchase value?

Yes, provided that he/she will buy a different residence of equal or higher purchase value.

  1. To what degree of relation can applicant –relatives, members of the same family, purchase the same privately-owned residence? 

To the second degree