Cyprus Investment Programme
On the basis of “Cyprus Investment Programme” (Programme) a non-Cypriot citizen may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception, if he/she fulfils the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5 (describing in Paragraph 3 below), either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/she participates as a shareholder –in proportion to his/her holding percentage, or through investments done by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that fulfils the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5.
1. What is the time frame for examining an application?
Applications are examined within approximately 6 months. The procedure for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship will be completed, provided that the applicant holds a residence permit for a period of at least 6 (six) months.
2. Do investments have to be made personally by the investor?
Investments can be made either personally by the investor, either by his/ her spouse, or jointly with the spouse or even through a company in which they are participating as shareholders or as ultimate beneficial owners.
3. What is included in each financial criterion?
On the basis of the Cyprus Investment Programme, a non-Cypriot citizen may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception, if he/she fulfils the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5 as follows:
Criterion A1: Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation of the total amount of €150.000.
Criterion A2: Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects of at least €2m. 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.
Criterion A3: Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisations of at least €2m. These companies or organizations should have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least 5 Cypriot or citizens of European Union member-states. 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 employees of the companies need to have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the 5 years preceding the application submission date.
Criterion A4: Investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) or financial assets of Cypriot companies/ organisations of at least €2m. AIFs and RAIFs, whose investments should be made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, should be established in the Republic of Cyprus and licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec). Investments should be kept for at least 5 years. It is noted that the purchase by an AIF of units of other AIFs is not considered eligible. The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations (bonds, bills and securities) should be issued with the approval of the CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus.
Criterion A5: Combination of the above criteria.
4. Does the applicant need to also own a residence in Cyprus?
In all criteria, the applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus, of at least €500,000 (+VAT). Members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers €500,000 for each applicant. In case that the value of the permanent privately owned residence in Cyprus exceeds the amount of €500,000, part of the additional amount can be used for supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the financial criteria above. If the applicant has invested in housing unit/ units as per Criterion 1, 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 (+VAT). In this case, the applicant must retain possession of this residence for life. If the applicant has invested in housing units that have already being used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Programme, the above provision will be in force provided that the total amount of the investments,including the privately-owned residence,is at least €2,5 million.
5. Can the investor rent his privately-owned residence to someone else?
Yes, he/ she may.
6. Must investors hold a residence permit in Cyprus prior to the naturalisation?
Yes, investors must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. If not, application for a residence permit can be submitted simultaneously with the application for the naturalisation, while the procedure for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship will be completed when the six-month period is completed. This provision also applies for the adult members of the investor’s family.
7. Must investors hold a Schengen visa prior to the naturalisation?
Yes, investors must hold a valid Schengen visa. Third-Country nationals that do not require an entry visa for travelling in EuropeanUnion member-states, as well as citizens of European Union Member States are excluded from this obligation.
8. How long do investments have to be kept for?
The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the 3 (three) years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least 5 (five) years as from the date of the naturalization.It is understood that the investor may replace the investment during the said five-year period, provided that he/she has obtained beforehand an approval by the Ministry of Finance. Please note that the five-year holding period does not apply for the permanent privately-owned residence, as it should be kept for life.
9. Which family members of the investor does the program apply to?
The program applies to the immediate family of the applicant (spouse or partner, minor and adult financially dependent children up to the age of 28, provided they are university students).The investor’s parents may also apply for citizenship after the investor has acquired his/ her citizenship, provided that they are owners of a private residence of at least €500,000 (+VAT). The investor and his/ her parents may collectively acquire one residential property of a total value of at least €1m (+VAT).
Our Firm’s members have extensive experience and knowledge in assisting high-net-worth individuals to apply for Cyprus citizenship. Our Firm’s legal team is able to advice you and provide you with all necessary and useful information in relation to the submission of the application, the procedure and the requirements.
- Explain you the procedure step-by-step
- Consult you on the requirements of the application
- Assist you in collecting the relevant required documents
- Draft and review the required agreements and collect the required documents
- Submit the application to the authorities on your behalf
- Keep you informed about the process after the submission of the application
Do not hesitate to contact our Firm for further information and details in this field of Law.