Receiving the citizenship of Cyprus

How to receive a Cypriot passport (EU citizenship)?

Citizenship of Cyprus can be received by making investments. At the moment, for an individual investor to receive Cypriot citizenship, it is necessary to make financial investments, using of the methods, approved by the government of Cyprus.

Right now those participating in the program should make an investment into financial assets of a company, real estate on Cyprus or combine various investment types. It is possible to invest into your own company on Cyprus, with an obligatory employment of 5 Cypriot employees.

On 15.05.2019 the government announces major changes the Citizenship through investment program. 

  • In cases where the applicant is purchasing residential properties that have already been used by another applicant for his/her application, then the investment amount will be increased to €2,5 million. 
  • A donation of €75,000 for research and business innovation development is mandatory (Research Promotion Foundation); The obligation for the contribution of this amount will not be applicable in case that the Applicant has invested an amount equal to at least €75,000 in a certified innovative Company (which has obtained relevant certificate from the Ministry of Finance) or in a certified social enterprise. Furthermore, the obligation of the donation can also be removed in case the Applicant has invested under criteria A3 (Purchase/ Establishment/ Participation in Cypriot Companies/ Businesses) of an amount equal to the 20% of the required investment amount of this criteria (thus minimum of €400,000) in a Company that is active in the primary or secondary sector of the economy ( with the exception of the construction sector), or in the sectors of research and technology, education, health or renewable sources of energy. It is understood that in case the applicant wishes to make a donation of more than €75,000 any surplus amount paid will be calculated towards his investment amount. 
  • A donation of €75,000 to the land development organisation (Cyprus Land Development Corporation) to fund affordable housing schemes is mandatory. It is understood that in case the applicant wishes to make a donation of more than €75,000 any surplus amount paid will be calculated towards his investment amount. 
  • At the time of submitting the citizenship application investor + spouse should be in possession of a valid Schengen visa; it is understood that citizens of non EU countries that do not require a visa to travel to EU member states shall be excluded from the requirement to hold a Schengen visa.  It is also understood that the requirement to hold a Schengen visa applies to any adult members of the investor that will submit a Citizenship application ( i.e parents/ adult children).
  • Investment in government bonds shall no longer be available for the purposes of the CIP. 
  • Investment in shipping can be accepted based on specific criteria that will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Ministry (based on criterion no. A3 purchase  or establishment or participation in Cypriot Companies / Business).
  • Applicants who were rejected by another EU country shall be excluded from the CIP and their applications will automatically be rejected by the Ministry.
  • The investment should be maintained for 5 years following the date of naturalization, instead of 3 years.
  • A planning permit shall be mandatory and should be included in the citizenship application for properties that are under construction.
  • A bank waiver should be issued and submitted in cases where the properties the investor is purchasing are subject to mortgages.
  • A certificate of completion of works will have to be presented when the property is finished signed by the architect of the project. In case the project is under construction, an amount equal to 5% of the price will have to be maintained in a special account or a Performance Bank Guarantee equal to 5% of the price will have to be issued from the Vendor in favour of the Purchaser.
  • Due diligence and background checks shall be carried out by a specialised foreign Firm on each applicant/investor (the firm has not been hired yet and will be decided within the next two months).
  • During the 5-year period the investor will be able to change his investment provided that he/ she obtains a consent in this regard by the Ministry of Finance.

The timeline for processing the documents remains unchanged, around 6-8 months from the date of submitting the documents. This is the shortest time, compared to other similar programs offered in other European countries.

At the same time, participants of the program are not required to reside in Cyprus in order to receive the citizenship.

Along with the main applicant, the dependent parents may also receive the citizenship (previously, this was granted only to the spouse of the applicant and children up to 18 years old). This opportunity is granted under the condition of acquiring additional property for the parents in the amount of at least €500 000 (otherwise, the value of joint real estate should exceed the amount of €1 million euros).

It should be noted that in the Index of Citizenships of the world, provided in 2015, Cyprus was 25th on the list, meaning that the status of a Cypriot citizenship is higher than that of the USA, Japan and Canada.

Cyprus Allows Dual Citizenship.

Having a dual citizenship, one of which is that of the EU, is clearly advantageous for a number of reasons.

Advantages of Cypriot citizenship:

  • Citizens of Cyprus have the right to live and work in Europe
  • Passport of a citizen of Cyprus allows its holder to travel visa-free to more than 140 countries in the world
  • Holders of a Cypriot passport can quickly apply for visas to other countries (e.g. USA) at affordable rates)
  • Dual citizenship is an effective tax planning instrument
  • Dual citizenship is a guarantee against political instability
  • Dual citizenship grants access to the best healthcare and educational institutions

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