On the 12th September 2016, the Cyprus Government through the Council of Ministers has revised the criteria for granting the Cypriot citizenship by investment, in an effort to further promote foreign direct investments in Cyprus and align the scheme with the most recent industry requirements and standards.
Under the revised criteria, foreign nationals are entitled to gain citizenship if they meet certain quantitative and qualitative criteria.
In exchange, and subject to a stringent vetting and diligence process, investors and their families (spouse, minor children and adult children up to the age of 28 who are dependent as well as parents of the main applicant) are granted the Cypriot citizenship. Thereon, the citizenship can be passed on to future generations by descent.
In order for an investor to qualify for Cypriot citizenship, the primary applicant must be over 18 years of age and meet the financial requirements under one of the following options:
A.1 Investment in real estate, developments and infrastructure projects:
The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2 million for the purchase or construction of real estate or the creation of developments such as residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector or other infrastructure. This criterion also includes investments in buildable land, provided that the application will include an investment plan for its development. This criterion excludes investment in land that falls in a non-allowable building zone.
A.2 Purchase or establishment or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies:
The applicant must have made a purchase, establishment or participation in businesses or companies established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million. These invested funds will have to be channeled to finance the investment objectives of those businesses and companies exclusively in Cyprus, on the basis of an investment plan. The businesses or companies must be able to demonstrate physical presence in Cyprus, with substantial activity and significant turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriot citizens or citizens of the European Union which have been Cyprus residents in the previous 5 years.
A.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot undertakings or Cypriot organizations licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission:
The applicant must have made a purchase of units amounting to at least €2.0 million from Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed by the CySEC and whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus.
Under this criterion, it is also allowable for the investor to purchase financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations of at least €2 million, such as bonds, securities and debt instruments, which have been issued following an approval by the CySEC by companies which have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus.
A.4 Combination of the above investments
The applicant may make a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount to at least €2,0 million.
In all cases, the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Also, the name of the applicant must not be included in the list of persons on whose name there is a freezing or confiscation order of property within the boundaries of the European Union.
In addition, every applicant must be the owner of a permanent residence in Cyprus, with a market value of at least €500,000 plus VAT. It is understood that the members of the same family, who submit different applications as investors, can buy collectively a residence/house, provided that the total amount of the residence/house covers the amount of €500,000 + VAT for each applicant.
Key Benefits of Cyprus citizenship
- Citizenship of an EU member state; right to freedom of movement, freedom to work and study and security within the social and legal system
- Full citizenship with passport granted to the main applicant and whole family
- Visa free travel to 158 countries, including Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore
- No dual citizenship restrictions
- Flexible options for qualification; approval usually within 90 days
- Simple application documentation process I
- Investing, not donating wealth