Attracting foreign direct investment is at the heart of Cyprus’ development strategy. In line with this policy, the Cyprus government has introduced the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment programme to enable foreign investors to obtain full citizenship of the EU-member state.
Cyprus has been a full member of the European Union since 2004 and adopted the euro as its currency in 2008. This small but dynamic country has a modern, free-market, service-based economy with an effective and transparent regulatory and legal framework, a highly competitive tax system bolstered by an extensive network of over 60 double tax treaties in force worldwide.
A business friendly environment and advanced infrastructure, combined with a high quality of life, allows investors and their families to enjoy the best of both worlds. Ease of doing business, safety, stability, year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and mountain scenery, as well as an array of historical and cultural attractions, all combine to make Cyprus one of the most attractive destinations in the EU for both living and doing business.
This section provides information for nationals of countries that are not members of the EU. The programme requires the amount of €2 million to be invested in Cyprus for a minimum period of three years. The citizenship is granted within just three months. This programme has already attracted over €3 billion of direct investments into the economy of Cyprus.
Eligibility and Financial Criteria
The following non-Cypriot natural persons, who meet one of the set financial criteria, are eligible to apply for the acquisition of Cypriot Citizenship:
- Natural persons, either personally or through a company in which they are participating as shareholders, in proportion to their holding percentage
- Through investments made by their spouse or jointly with the spouse
- As a high-ranking senior manager of a company that meets one of the financial criteria below and provided that they receive a remuneration that generates paid tax revenues of at least €100,000 over three years
Eligible persons who meet one of the following financial criteria may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot Citizenship:
- Investment of at least €2 million in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects
- Investment of at least €2 million in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisations
- Investment of at least €2 million in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) or financial assets of Cypriot companies/organisations that are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
- A combination of the above criteria, which can also include a maximum investment in government bonds of up to €500,000
Additional Terms and Conditions
Prior to the naturalisation, investors must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. If not, the application for a residence permit can be submitted simultaneously with the application for the naturalisation.
The investments must be retained for three years. After that the assets can be sold.
A clear criminal record must be submitted for the applicant, as well as for the spouse, adult children and parents included in the application.
In addition to the above investment requirements, an investor must also own a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus with a value of at least €500,000 (+VAT). If investment is made into residential properties, as per the first financial criterion, this requirement is not applicable, if at least one of the units is worth at least €500,000 (+VAT), provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life.
Benefits of Cyprus Citizenship
A Cyprus passport is a full EU passport offering visa-free rights of movement and residence in 157 countries in total. The investor and his/her family can freely reside, work, study and conduct business in any of the EU member states as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
Dual-citizenship is permitted. Acquisition of Cyprus citizenship is not reported to other countries.
The investor’s spouse or partner may acquire the Cypriot Citizenship. Their application can be filed simultaneously.
The investor’s dependent children up to the age of 18 have the right to apply for citizenship, after the investor acquires the Cypriot Citizenship, provided that the other parent consents to the grant of the citizenship.
The investor’s adult financially dependent children also have the right to apply for citizenship, after the investor acquires the Cypriot Citizenship, if they are either students up to the age of 28 or have a severe physical/ mental disability that prohibits employment.
All next generations of the investor retain EU citizenship.
The investor’s parents also have the right to apply for citizenship, after the investor acquires the Cypriot Citizenship, provided that they are owners of a private residence of at least €500,000 (+VAT) in Cyprus. The investor and his/her parents may jointly acquire one residential property of a total value of at least €1 million (+VAT) to meet this requirement.
Sovereign Citizenship by Investment services
Sovereign Trust (Cyprus) can assist with all aspects of making a Cyprus Citizenship by Investment application, including:
- Consulting on the requirements of the application process
- Advising on any questions/issues that need to be clarified
- Assisting with drafting relevant required documents
- Assisting with the legal overview of purchase agreements and/or of relevant documents
- Assisting with the real estate/investment due diligence
- Assisting with examining tax implications from the investment
- Reviewing the application documentation to ensure required quality standards
- Submitting the completed application to the Cypriot authorities on the client’s behalf
- Monitoring the status of the review by the authorities and informing the client
- Acting as a liaison with authorities during the examination of the application
- Accompanying the client and his/her dependents to the Civil Registry and Migration Department