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Cyprus Citizenship



You, your spouse and children can receive Cyprus passports in 3 months in exchange for a €2.5 million – 3 year investment, earning 5% p.a.


Cyprus is considered to be one of the most popular jurisdictions to obtain citizenship due to its geographical location, EU member status, excellent infrastructure and high standards of living. Citizens of the Republic of Cyprus enjoy unrestricted travel to the EU region. They can also travel visa free to more than 140 countries.


Non-EU citizens can acquire Cypriot citizenship by Exception through direct investment in the Republic of Cyprus. The Council of Ministers has set out a list of criteria for acquiring citizenship by Exception.​


Who may apply


A non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one of the economic criteria set out in point 2 below, either personally or through a company/ies in which he participates as a shareholder. Also, a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ies that meets one of the economic criteria provided he receives such a remuneration that generates tax revenue for the Republic of at least €100.000 for a three year period and provided this tax has already paid or prepaid.


Criteria


In an attempt to attract foreign investors to Cyprus, the Council of Ministers revised the “Scheme for Naturalization of non-Cypriot investors by exception” and established new financial criteria based on which non-Cypriot entrepreneurs/investors may acquire Cypriot citizenship, provided they satisfy one of the following:


1. Investment in Government bonds:


The applicant must have purchased state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of at least €5,0 million (only the investments in state bonds purchased directly from the Ministry of Finance will be eligible), orThe applicant must have purchased state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of at least €5,0 million (only the investments in state bonds purchased directly from the Ministry of Finance will be eligible), or




2. ​​​Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations:


The applicant must have purchased financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations (bonds, securities or debentures registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus) of at least €5,0 million. It is noted that these financial assets can be purchased either at issuance, or subsequently from the market, or




3. Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects:


The applicant must have made an investment of at least €5,0 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), or



4. Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies:


The applicant must have made an investment of at least €5,0 million in the purchase, creation or participation in businesses or 

companies, that are based and operating in the Republic. These businesses or companies should evidently have a tangible presence in Cyprus and employ at least five (5) Cypriot citizens. It is noted that the mandatory conversion of deposits into shares is included in this criterion, or




5. Deposits in Cypriot banks


The applicant must have personal fixed term deposits for three years in Cypriot banks or deposits of privately owned companies or trusts (in which he/she is the beneficiary owner) in the Republic of Cyprus of at least €5,0 million, or




6. Combination of the aforementioned criteria(1-5):


The applicant is required to have a combination of the above amounting to at least €5,0 million, or




7. Persons whose deposits with the Popular Bank Public Company Ltd have been impaired due to the measures implemented after the 15th March 2013:


The applicant must have incurred impairment in deposits amounting to a total of at least €3,0 million. In the case where the applicant has incurred an impairment in his/her deposits under €3,0 million he/she may apply, having made an additional investment through the criteria 1-5 for the balance of the required amount of the aforementioned criteria, or



8. Major Collective Investments:


The Council of Ministers shall have the right on special occasions, to reduce the above criteria (1 (Investment in Government Bonds),

2 (Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations), 3 (Investment in real estate, land development or infrastructure projects) and 4 (Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies) currently accepted for a minimum of €2,5 million for investors who demonstrably participate in a special collective investment scheme, provided that the total value of the investment is at least €12,5 million.





The applicant should have concluded the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years following the date of the Naturalization.


In addition to the above, a high-ranking senior manager may apply for the Cyprus Citizenship, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenue of at least €100,000 for a three year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.


Terms and conditions

1. Clean Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the European Union.

2. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed above, 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.

3. It is noted that members of the same family, which apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000 per each applicant.


Submission of documents

In order to examine any applications, the submission of the form (M127) must be accompanied by the following:

1. Clean Criminal Record

Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if it differs).

2. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus

a) Contract of Sale

b) Title Deeds/ Receipt for lodging the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department

c) Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price

d) Copy of the wire transfer to the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company.


As for the investment Criteria the following are required, depending on the case:

a) Certificate of Registration of the company/companies by the Registrar of Companies

b) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies or certificates evidencing that the applicant is the beneficiary owner of the company/companies

c) Audited Accounts of the company (or companies) for the last three years preceding the year of the application

d) If the applicant is a high-ranking senior manager the submission of the employment contract and the receipt from the Department of Inland Revenue is additionally required.


Any other document that might be requested either by the Ministry of Interior, or by the Ministry of Finance.

 

Furthermore, depending on the case, the following are required:

1. Investment in Government bonds

Receipts from the Treasury of the Republic of Cyprus for the purchase of the Government bonds.

2. Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations

a) Title/titles and other documents regarding the financial assets

b) Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization.

3. Investment in real estate, land development or infrastructure projects

a) Contract of sale

b) Title Deeds/Receipt for lodging the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department

c) Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price

d) Copy of the wire transfer to the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company.

4. Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies

a) Contract of sale

b) Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price

c) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies or certificates evidencing that the applicant is the beneficiary owner of the company/companies

d) Copy of the wire transfer to the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization

e) Confirmation from the Social Insurance Department of the insurable income of the Cypriot employees in the company

f) Confirmation from the Inland Revenues Department of the taxable income of the Cypriot employees in the companies or businesses that the applicant invested in.

5. Deposits in Cypriot banks

a) Confirmation from Cypriot banks of the fixed term deposits for three years of the applicant or the companies in which he/she is the beneficiary owner or of the trust in which he/she is the beneficiary owner

b) Copy of the wire transfer to the Cypriot commercial banking institution.

6. Impairment of deposits in the Popular Bank

a) Confirmation of the level and the time of the impairment of the deposits

b) In the case of deposits of companies of which the applicant is the beneficiary owner, the Certificate of Registration of the Company and/or any other evidence, along with a declaration from the trustee of the funds confirming the beneficial owner is to be attached.

 

None of the above affects the absolute discretion of the Council of Ministers in taking a decision.


Benefits from Cyprus Citizenship

Cyprus allows dual citizenship. This means that the investor can keep his/her first citizenship and at the same time have Cyprus citizenship as well. Holding a Cyprus citizenship amongst other benefits will provide the investor the following:

 

Travel & Employment benefits

a) Cypriot citizens enjoy the freedom to live, work and travel throughout Europe. EU citizens have the right to move freely and work in any Member State without restrictions
b) Cypriot citizens who are insured under the social security scheme are entitled to receive pension. Residing in another Member State will give them the right to apply for equal benefits with those applicable to the local people residing in that other EU country. Moreover, EU citizens maintain the right to receive their social insurance benefits even in cases where they move to another Member State
c) Cypriot passport holders are entitled to travel visa-free to more than 140 countries
d) Cypriot citizenship offers an alternative in the case of political or other instability in the country of first citizenship.


Taxation benefits

a) Cyprus corporate tax rate is amongst the lowest worldwide
b) Access to an extensive double tax treaty network for the avoidance of double taxation
c) Enjoy simplified VAT triangulation rules available between EU member states.

 

Educational and healthcare benefits

a) Free undergraduate tuition in Cyprus
b) Right to study in another EU member state with same conditions and fees as applicable to Cypriots
c) Access to high quality healthcare, both in Cyprus and within the EU member states.



Most discussed


The applicant must have concluded the investment during the 3 years preceding the submission date of the application and must retain the said investment for at least 3 years from the approval of the application by the Council of Ministers.




Are there any age, language or other similar restrictions?


You must be at least 30 years old and have a certificate of clean criminal record from your country of origin and your country of residence (if it differs). Furthermore, your name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the EU. There are no Greek language proficiency requirements.


Can my family join me in Cyprus?


Yes. Your spouse, underage children as well as any children over the age of 18 who are considered financially dependent may also be granted Cypriot citizenship. Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any financial criteria.


Am I required to stay in Cyprus?


You are not required to stay in Cyprus.

You must have a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000 excluding VAT. The purchase value of the privately-owned residence is not included in the minimum investment which is required. However, if an applicant decides to invest solely in the purchase of a privately-owned residence of a purchase price of €5 million (criterion A.3), he is not obliged to buy a further privately-owned residence of €500.000.


Do I have to renounce my existing citizenship?


No. Provided your application is approved you can acquire Cypriot citizenship and retain your existing nationality.






What is the procedure and the time frame for completion?


A letter is addressed to the Ministry of Interior in which the investment and criterion under which the application is made are briefly explained. Together with this letter all supporting documents as well as application form M127 must be submitted. The documents relating to the investments are sent to the Ministry of Finance for evaluation while the Ministry of Interior investigates whether the applicant meets all other conditions. The case is then presented to the Council of Ministers for final decision. Once the application is approved the Certificate of Naturalisation is issued. The time frame for the completion of the process is approximately 3 months.