Cyprus Citizenship Criteria

Cyprus Citizenship > Citizenship Criteria

CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP CRITERIA

On September 13 2016, the Council of Ministers in Cyprus approved the amendments to the Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception. This scheme is based on subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015.

The amendments to the law were made by the Cyprus Government to encourage further Foreign Direct Investment in the island by high-net-worth individuals.

A. Economic Criteria

A non-Cypriot citizen who meets one of the following economic criteria (A) either personally or via a company in which he/she is a shareholder (in proportion to the holding percentage) or through investments made by his/her spouse either individually or jointly, or an individual who is a high-ranking manager of a company that meets at least one of the economic criteria (A), can apply to obtain Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by Exception.

A high-ranking senior manager of a company can apply only if he/she receives remuneration that generates tax revenues of at least €100,000 in the Republic of Cyprus over a period of 3 years and provided that the tax has already been paid or will be prepaid.

The applicant must have made the necessary investments within 3 years before the date of the application and must hold the said investments for a period of not less than 3 years from the date of obtaining Naturalization.

The applicant must fulfill the requirements of the Terms and Conditions as set out in Part B.

If, following periodic inspections it is discovered that the criteria and terms and conditions of the Scheme have been breached, then the granted Naturalization may be revoked.

A1. Investing in Real Estate, Land Development and Infrastructure projects

The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2 million (plus VAT) for the purchase or construction of buildings or for the construction of other land development projects (either residential or commercial developments, or developments in the tourist industry) or other infrastructure projects.

Investing in land under development is permitted, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land is included with the application. It is understood that investment in land situated in a building-zone of zero development is excluded.

A2. Investing in Financial Assets of Cypriot Companies or in Cypriot Organizations

The applicant must have purchased or have participated in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with a total investment of not less than €2 million. These funds must be utilized towards the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus based on a specific investment plan.

Applications will be assessed to verify that the companies or organizations have a proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and annual turnover and must employ at least five (5) Cypriot citizens or citizens of European Union member-states. The minimum number of employees required will increase if more than one applicant invests simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same company or organization. The said employees must have legally resided in Cyprus continuously for the last five years before the date of the application.

A3. Investing in Alternative Investment Funds or Financial Assets owned by Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations licensed by CySec

The applicant must have bought units of at least €2 million from Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed and regulated by CySec and whose investments are made solely in the Republic of Cyprus. In investments that meet the conditions of this Scheme or in areas approved by the Ministry of Finance.

The manager or auditor of the Fund shall confirm in writing to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Interior that the investments meet the criteria of the current Scheme and will be kept for a minimum period of three years. The manager or auditor of the Fund will be required to report on the value of the initial investment on an annual basis.

Under this criteria, investors can acquire financial assets (of Cypriot companies or organizations of at least €2 million), such as bonds, bills and securities issued with the approval of CySec by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus and whose purpose is the financing of the specific investment plans of these companies or organizations in Cyprus exclusively.

Note that the purchase of units of other AID’s by an AIF is not permitted under this Scheme.

A4. Combination of the above Investments

The applicant may submit an application to obtain Cypriot Citizenship by Exception on the basis of investments in combination of the above way, provided that the total investment will not be less than €2 million.

Under this condition (combination of investments) the applicant may also invest in special Government Bonds of the Republic of Cyprus for a sum up to €500,000. The bonds will be issued by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance and the investor must hold these bonds for a minimum period of three years. The characteristics and terms governing these special bonds will be stipulated by the General and Special Issue Terms of the Government Bonds of the Republic of Cyprus. Acquisition of Government Bonds through the secondary market will not be considered as eligible criteria for application to obtain Cypriot Citizenship by Exception.

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