Cyprus Citizenship by investment Programme

DIRECT CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM

Cyprus Citizenship opens the doors to first class life style and a secure future for your family. Cyprus has numerous advantages when it comes to the decision to become a European Citizen. One of the reasons is the fast and easy process. Cyprus welcomes investments from Third Country nationals with clear terms and conditions to the grant Citizenship Passport. Cyprus has the fastest immigration program for Europe and most cases are completed within a period of the successale for an application is 100% and it is unlikely to be declined.

Legal Basis

On the basis of a Council of Ministers’ revised Decision (dated 13 September 2016), non-Cypriot Investors, are eligible to acquire the Cyprus Citizenship by Naturalization (by exception on the basis of the Civil Registry Law 2002-2015).
For more information regarding the law click here.

Main Benefits of Obtaining Citizenship in Cyprus through the Citizenship-by-Investment Program

The Investment Citizenship Program is based on a fast-track procedure with reduced time and bureaucracy. In September 2016 the Cyprus Council of Ministers has approved amendments to the Scheme for Naturalization that designed to attract foreign direct investment and encourage the use of Cyprus by high-net-worth Individuals.

The programme is unique in Europe and very appealing:

Cyprus passport is a full EU passport. Investor and his family can freely reside, work, study, and doing business in any of the EU-member states as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
Holder of Cyprus passport can travel visa-free in 158 countries.
Dual-citizenship is permitted, confidentiality is provided.
The passport is issued also for the investor’s spouse and all financially dependent children (up to 28 years old). All next generations of investor retain EU citizenship.
The investor’s parents are entitled to apply for citizenship provided that they are also owners of a private residence of at least €500.000.
Fast track process - 90 days from application to receiving Citizenship & Passports.
No requirement to reside in Cyprus.
Minimum investment required is € 2 mln excluding VAT.
Tax advantages.
Applicant does not become a tax resident in Cyprus, unless he/she spends more than 183 days per calendar year.
.The applicant must possess a permanent privately- owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus , the purchase price must be at least 500.000, plus V.A.T.
The investment must be kept for 3 years. After that the assets can be sold. To be more precise, the Law states that a property of minimum value of €500.000 must be kept as a private residence .
No donation to the Cyprus government required.
No history and language proficiency tests.

Investment options

An investor is free to choose where to invest from a wide choice of options:
1. Real Estate, Land Development, and Infrastructure Projects.
2. Purchase, Creation, or Participation in Cypriot Businesses or Companies.
3. Investments in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) or financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations licensed by CYSEC.
4. Combination of investments.
Requirements for investors.
An investor must meet the following requirements:
The minimum investment amount is €2mln.
Keeping investments for a period of minimum 3 years.
Clear criminal record.
The investor must be the holder of a residence permit in Cyprus to qualify for receiving the Cyprus Citizenship. For this purpose, he/she should submit an application for a residence permit, which will be issued simultaneously with the filing of the Citizenship application. The obtaining of residence permit is a formality due to EU regulation. There is still no requirement for the investor to live in Cyprus.

investor

If an investor sells residential property(ies) of €2mln after 3 years, he/she has to buy another residential property(ies) worth €500.000.

CRITERIA & CONDITIONS-SUBMISISSIO OF DOCUMENTS

1. Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence.
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 in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company.
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 in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller company.

Accompanying documents:

• Birth certificate of the applicant.
• Marriage certificate of the applicant’s parents.
• Photocopy of the applicant’s and the applicant’s parents’ passports.
• Certificate of registration of the Cypriot parent (where applicable)
• Copy of proof of fees paid 20 Euros.
• Stamp worth 8.54 euros attached to the application.

APPLICATION KEY INFORMATION

The approval of Citizenship under the relevant Decision is granted by the Cyprus Council of Ministers.
The application package is submitted to the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of Finance assesses the financial criteria.
The application of the spouse is submitted concurrently with the application of the main applicant. Upon the approval of these applications, children applications follow.
After examination by the two Ministries, the application is presented to the Council of Ministers.
The application processing usually takes 3 months.
Low government fees for the filing of the application.
In addition, applicants must supply the following documents:
Passport.
Birth certificate.
Police clearance certificate from country of origin and country of residence if different.
Marriage certificate (if applicable).
Detailed biography.
Cypriot Citizenship Processing Fees
Applicant Application Submission Fees Certificate Issuance Fee
Investor €2,000 €5,000
Spouse €2,000 €5,000
Adult Child €2,000 €5,000
Minor Child €80 -

Taxes

Vat may be reduced to 5% on the first property purchase (first 200m2), above 19%
Standard vat rate is 19%.
Additional taxes and duties apply (approximately €4,000)

THE PROCESS - FAST TRACK 3 MONTHS

Step 1 - Review & select real estate investment
Select property, sign purchase agreement and transfer funds to a secure account. Application can be filed after total amount is paid.
Step 2 - Preparation of citizenship application
The client will receive a detailed application package and document checklist. Applicant must gather all necessary papers required for application (see Application Criteria). The documents must be officially translated into Greek or English and certified with apostil (if in a country which has signed the Hague Convention of 1961) or stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant Cyprus Embassy.
Step 3 - Acquire pre-approval
The appointed lawyer completes a pre-clearance check
Step 4 - Citizenship and PR application submitted to Government
Payment of submission fee €2,000 per adult applicant. Application lodged, together with the property purchase agreement and all required documents, at the Ministry of Interior.
Step 5 – Issuance of Cypriot citizenship
Once ratified by the Council of Ministers, a citizenship certificate is issued. This Certificate must be signed by the applicant either in front of a Registrar of a Cypriot Court or a Consular at any Cypriot Consulate abroad within 3 months of receiving approval. In Cyprus the process, including collection of biometric ID cards, takes under 1 day, through an embassy the process takes up to 2 weeks. It should be noted that the application submission date is the date on which the submission fees were paid.
Step 6 - Naturalization of children
Submit the applications of children to be naturalized. Applications of minor children are processed within 3 weeks; they can visit Cyprus anytime to collect their papers. Adult children’s applications are processed within 2 months and are subject to a submission fee of €2,000 and approval fee of €5,000. The children must visit Cyprus within 3 months to collect their passport and identity card.
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Cyprus Permanent Residency Programme by investment

Fast track procedure

As an alternative way to secure permanent residence in Cyprus for investors and their dependants, an immigration permit application under the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations may be submitted with the investment amount being substantially lower than the Cypriot Citizenship, from €300.000 (excluding VAT), provided that they fulfill certain criteria.

Financial criteria:

a) The applicant must prove that s/he has at his/her disposal a secured minimum annual income amounting to €30.000 (employment in Cyprus is strictly prohibited). The minimum annual income is increased by €5.000 for each dependent person. The annual income must be derived from sources abroad and can include overseas employment income, pensions, dividends etc.
b) The application form must be accompanied by a title deed or a contract of sale that has already been submitted to the Department of Lands and Surveys, for the acquisition of a house, apartment or any other building situated in Cyprus, of a minimum market value of €300.000 (excluding VAT). Further, the applicant must submit proof of payment for at least €200.000 (excluding VAT) in respect of the above mentioned property. It should be noted that the Civil Registry and Migration Department will only accept applications for granting immigration permits under the fast track route provided that the above mentioned property is being sold for the first time.
c) The applicant must submit a confirmation letter from a Cyprus Banking Institution that s/he has deposited a minimum amount of €30.000 which will be pledged for a minimum period of three years.

Please note that the amounts mentioned in paragraphs (b) and (c) should be proven to have been transferred to Cyprus legally from abroad.

Other conditions:
• Clean criminal record;
• Statement confirming that s/he has no intention to work or be engaged in any form of active business in Cyprus;
• The applicant is required to visit Cyprus at least once every two years.

Provided that the financial criteria and conditions described above are fulfilled, the application shall be examined by the Minister of Interior in a positive spirit and the immigration permit should be granted within a 2 month period.