CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAM

CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAM

A) BENEFITS OF NATURALIZATION A foreign investor or businessman may consider naturalization to enjoy the following benefits amongst others:

  • The right to free movement, residence, work and study within all the countries of the European Union
  • Protection by EU legislation and regulations
  • Visa-free travel to more than 150 countries in the world
  • Dual-citizenship
  • A safe and stable permanent alternative to his current country of residence
  • Combination of tax incentives
  • Comprehensive double tax treaties network that offers an effective tool for international tax planning
  • The Cypriot personal income tax regime, through the 2015 introduction of the “non-domicile” concept, is now widely considered as the most attractive onshore personal income tax regime in the world
  • By obtaining the Cyprus citizenship one does not automatically become tax resident of Cyprus, unless he spends more than 183 days in the country in one calendar year

B) PREREQUISITES The applicants must fulfill the following prerequisites whatever the mode of investment:

  1. A clear criminal record both from country of birth and country of residence
    Any persons sanctioned by the EU are not qualified to apply.
  2. Hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least € 500.000 (five hundred thousand euro) plus VAT.
    It must be noted that members of the same family who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this property covers the amount of € 500.000 (five hundred thousand euro) per each applicant. Spouses/cohabitees and children up to the age of 28 that are financially dependent on the qualifying foreign investor are also granted citizenship without having to meet any further financial criteria. Parents of an investor can also be granted citizenship provided they acquire a residence in the Republic of Cyprus for the price of €500.000 (five hundred thousand euro) plus VAT.
  3. The applicant before its naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residency permit in the Republic of Cyprus.
    In case the applicant is not already a holder of a residency permit, may submit an application for an immigration permit at the same time while submitting an application for naturalization.
  4. The applicant before its naturalization as a Cypriot citizen, must hold a valid Schengen visa.
  5. Donate at least €75.000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation and at least €75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.The donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation can be lifted under special conditions.

C) CRITERIA OF QUALIFICATION FOR NATURALIZATION

  1. Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects
    The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2 million (two million euro) 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 related projects
    On the basis of this criterion, the investment in land under development is also included, provided that the investment will be supported with an investment plan for the development of the purchased land.
  2. Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies
  3. The applicant must have made an investment in the purchase, creation or participation in companies that are based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus, amounting to at least €2 million (two million euro). The respective amount must be invested to financially support the local operations of the companies.
    The investment to be made should be supported by a comprehensive investment plan. It should be noted that these companies must have proven physical presence and significant activity in Cyprus with substantial turnover and employ at least 5 (five) Cypriot or European Union citizens, who have been legally and continuously living in Cyprus for a minimum of 5 (five) years preceding the submission of the respective application.
  4. Investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIF’s) or registered Investment Funds (RAIF’s) or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot companies licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec)
    The applicant must have purchased units from AIF’s or RAIF’s which are established, licensed and supervised in Cyprus by CySec, amounting to at least €2 million (two million euro). Such investments must be exclusively made in the Republic of Cyprus and fulfil the criteria of the Scheme and be approved by the Minister of Finance. In order to confirm that the investments made, under this criterion, will be retained for at least a five -year period, the manager or the auditor of the Fund should provide annual reports to the Ministry of Interior and Finance with reference to the value of the initial investment. An investor may acquire financial assets of Cyprus companies such as bonds, bills and securities amounting to at least €2 million (two million euro), issued with the approval of CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic and aim to finance the investment plans of these companies exclusively in Cyprus. The investment to be made in this respect, should be supported by a comprehensive investment plan.
  5. Combination of the aforementioned investment criteria (C.1-3)
    The applicant may make a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount to at least € 2 million (two million euro) and in addition he is expected to acquire a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least € 500.000 (five hundred thousand euro) plus VAT.

Furthermore, it is important to note the following as well:

  1. There is no language requirement, medical test or interview for citizenship applicants.
  2. Investments can be made personally or through vehicles such as companies or trusts.
  3. The investor is obliged to retain the investment for at least five years after the date of the acquisition of the Cypriot Citizenship.
  4. The examination of the application takes approximately (6) six months.
  5. The applicant is required at least, to travel once to Cyprus, prior of the naturalization, for purposes of issuing the residency permit in the Republic of Cyprus.

For further information please do not hesitate to request a consultation