Cyprus Investment Programme
Please note that a new legislative framework for the Investors Citizenship programme is currently under review by the Government. We will update this article as soon as new information is available.
The Cypriot government introduced new routes to citizenship in 2016, offering full naturalisation to those who meet certain economic criteria, namely investment of at least €2m in one of the following:
- Real estate, land development and infrastructure projects
- Cypriot Companies or Businesses
- Alternative investment funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies/organisations licensed by CySec
- A combination of the above
A clean criminal record is required and those wishing to avail of the scheme must also hold both a residence permit and possess a permanent private residence in the Republic of Cyprus, purchased for at least €500.000.
Spouses and financially dependent children will also receive citizenship and the investor’s parents may apply too, although the latter must also possess a private residence with a purchase price of at least €500.000.
More recently, in February 2019, the Council of Ministers made a number of changes to the original scheme. The main ones are as follows:
- A mandatory donation of € 75,000 to the Foundation for Research and Innovation, an obligation that can be waived under certain conditions.
- A mandatory donation of € 75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.
- The inclusion of investments in the shipping sector in the eligible investments, on the basis of specific measurable criteria.
- The inclusion of investment in Registered Alternative Investment Funds
- In the case of residential units already used for the purposes of the Investment programme and are now reused under the same Programme
- The Obligation to maintain the required investments for a period of at least 5 years from the date of naturalization
- A complete abolition of investment in government bonds as an acceptable investment within the Programme.
- Where the investment relates to the purchase of real estate or property as well as in the case of a property used as a permanent residency the following will be required:
- a planning permission issued by the Department of Town Planning and Housing in accordance with the Town and Planning Act (Ν. 90/1972)
- a completion certificate signed by the architect of the project.
- and a bank waiver from the banking institution in case of a mortgaged property, confirming the waiver of any rights upon receipt of payment for the mortgage shall be required.
- The applicant must have a Schengen visa in order to be able to apply for naturalization.
- An applicant who has applied for the acquisition of citizenship in any other Member State of the European Union and has been rejected will not be entitled to acquire Cypriot citizenship.
- Reaffirmation that the applicant should be in possession of a residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus for at least six (6) months prior to naturalization as a Cypriot citizen.
- An Annual Implementation Report that includes the number of naturalizations.
- Reaffirmation of the ban on the advertising of the Investment Programmes in public places and on the Internet
- Publication of tender for purchase of services for enhanced due diligence procedures for the naturalization applicants from the Interior Ministry.
Permanent Residency Scheme
Residence permits are available to non-EU nationals who have purchased real estate with a market value of at least €300.000, subject to a number of criteria.
- Evidence of minimum capital of €30.000 in Cyprus (a confirmation letter from a Cypriot bank is required). Please note that this money will be frozen for a period of three years.
- Evidence of an annual income of at least €30.000, with an additional €5.000 required for a spouse and each dependent child, and €8.000 for a dependent parent.
- Provision of a declaration that the applicant does not intend to work or engage in active business in Cyprus.
- The applicant must arrange to visit Cyprus at least once every two years.
- A clean criminal record is required.
A detailed explanation of the scheme is available here.
This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon; legal advice should be sought regarding citizenship.