As a part of its policies aiming to further encourage Foreign Direct Investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus the Council of Ministers, on the 13th of September 2016, revised the “Scheme for Naturalization of non-Cypriot investors by exception” and, thus, established the new criteria and terms based on which non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/ investors may acquire the Cypriot citizenship.
The citizenship-by-investment program grants full Cypriot citizenship to those who meet certain conditions and that invest more than EUR 2 million. Successful applicants can live, work and study in any out of all 28 EU member countries.
The Eligible Investments:
- Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects.
- Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations.
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec.
- Combination of the aforementioned investments.
1. Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects:
The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2,0 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. It is noted that 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. It is understood that investment in land that is situated in a building zone of zero development, is excluded.
2. Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses:
The applicant should have made a purchase or should have participated in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million. 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 applications shall be evaluated to verify that the companies or organizations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or citizens of European Union member-states. The minimum number of employees shall increase, if more than one applicant invest simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same business or company. In addition, the employees of the companies need to have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application submission date.
3. Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec :
The applicant should have bought units of at least €2,0 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed and supervised by the CySec and whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this Scheme or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance.
In order to confirm that the investments that meet the criteria of the current Scheme will be kept for at least three years, the manager or the auditor of the Fund shall inform in writing and on an annual basis, the Ministries of Finance and Interior with reference to the value of the initial investment.
The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations of at least €2,0 million, such as bonds, bills and securities, issued with the approval of the CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus, and have as a purpose the financing of the investment plans of these companies or organizations exclusively in Cyprus, based on an investment plan, fall under this criterion.
It is noted that the purchase by an AIF of units of other AIFs is not considered eligible.
4. Combination of the aforementioned investments:
The applicant may proceed with a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2,0 million.
Within this criterion (combination of investments) the applicant may purchase special government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus, up to €500.000, which will be issued by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance, on condition that the investor will retain these bonds for a three year period. The characteristics and the terms of these special bonds will be determined by the General and Special Issue Terms of the Government Bonds of the Republic of Cyprus. Investments in government bonds through the secondary market are not considered eligible.
Applicants who satisfy the criteria for applying for Citizenship must:
- Have a clean criminal record
- Their names must not be listed in the list of individuals whose assets are ordered to be frozen within the borders of the European Union
- Additionally, applicants must hold a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus, the market value of which must be worth of a minimum €500.000 plus V.A.T
The Advantages and Benefits of getting a Cyprus Passport.
- Whole Family Acquires the Cypriot Citizenship
- EU citizen
- Free Travel Visa (28 EU countries and to other over 150 countries and regions in the world).
- Free Education
- Rights of Voting and Being Elected
- Job Mobility
- Financial Taxation
- Medical Care