George K. Konstantinou Law Firm
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment
Marios Konstantinou - Lawyer
Cyprus Investment Programme - Cyprus Citizenship by Investment
One of the main objectives of the economic policy of the Republic of Cyprus is to further encourage foreign direct investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and conduct their business in Cyprus. Key factors that make Cyprus an attractive destination for investment, is the highly specialized human capital, the reliable legislative and regulatory framework, the stable tax system and the safety and stability conditions prevailing in the country.
Within this framework and taking into account the strong investor interest, the Government of Cyprus has established and revised the "Cyprus Investment Programme" (Programme) on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2019, with specific incentives, terms and conditions and control procedures in order to prevent abuse.
On the basis of the Programme, a non-Cypriot citizen may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception, if he/she fulfils the criteria.
1. Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation:
(a) The applicant must have donated €75.000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation.
The aforementioned obligation is lifted, if the applicant has invested at least €75.000 in a certified innovative enterprise (i.e. an enterprise that had acquired the relevant certificate by the Ministry of Finance).
In addition, the obligation is lifted, if the applicant has made an investment under the criterion A.3 (Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses) of a total amount equal to the 20% of the required investment amount (i.e. €400.000) of the abovementioned criterion A.3 in a company whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (excluding constructions), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources.
(b) The applicant must have donated at least €75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation
2. 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.
3. Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses:
The applicant must have invested at least €2,0 million for the purchase or participation in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of. 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. Moreover, investments in the shipping sector are eligible on the basis of measurable criteria that will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry.
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 5 (five) Cypriot citizens 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.
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.
B. Terms & Conditions
1. Clean Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his/her name must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the European Union, have been frozen as the result of sanctions.
Moreover, an applicant whose application for citizenship in any other member-state of the European Union had been rejected, is not eligible to apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Programme.
Schengen Visa: The applicant and his family members must hold a valid Schengen visa. Third-Country nationals that do not require an entry visa for travelling in European Union member-states, as well as citizens of European Union Member States are excluded from this obligation.
Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must possess a residence, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T.
Additionally, it is noted that if the applicant has invested in housing unit/units on the basis of the aforementioned criterion A.2, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000, plus VAT, provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life.
However, if the applicant has invested in housing units that have already being used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Programme, the above provision will be in force provided that the total amount of the investments, including the privately-owned residence, is at least €2,5 million.
4. Residence Permit in Cyprus: The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for a period of at least 6 (six) months.
If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalization and their residency card will be issued within 5 days.
Please see detailed information below: