CYPRUS Citizenship by Investment

CREC - CYPRUS Citizenship by Investment

Cypriot Citizenship by Investment – Policy

Introduction

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 do business in Cyprus.

The Government of Cyprus has established and revised a “Scheme for Naturalization of non-Cypriot investors by exception”  on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015, with specific incentives, terms and conditions and control procedures in order to prevent abuse.

The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years as from the date of the naturalization. In addition, the applicant must fulfil the Terms and Conditions set out in Part B.

In the case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been established that a criterion, term or condition of the Scheme has been breached, the granted naturalization may be revoked.

1. Investment Options

  1. 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.
  2. Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations: The applicant should have made a purchase or should have participated in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million. 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.
  3. 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.

2. Conditions

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • Clean Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his 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.
  • Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T.  It is noted that members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000 per each applicant.
  • Residence Permit in Cyprus: The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. 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. If the application for acquiring an immigration permit is made solely for purposes of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship, in accordance with the provisions of this Scheme, there are no other conditions than those stated in both Part A and Part B of this Scheme.
  • Conclusion
    • Applicants for Cypriot citizenship by investment must fulfill the following requirements:
      • Investment of at least 2,0 million and keep for at least 3 years
      • Clean Criminal Record
      • Residence in the Republic of Cyprus
      • Residence Permit in Cyprus (at least 6 months)
  • Family Members
    • The Decision of the Council of Ministers provides for the grant of the Cypriot citizenship to:
      • The spouse  of the main applicant
      • The minor children and/or the financially dependent adult children under 28 years old of the main applicant
      • The parents of the main applicant
      • The adult family members of the main applicant prior to their naturalization as a Cypriot citizens must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for at least 6 months.
    • The spouse of the investor
      •  The spouse of the investor may acquire the Cypriot citizenship after filing the relevant application (Form M127). The Council of Ministers allows the submission of the spouse’s or partner’s application along with the application of the investor, so that both spouses will be able to acquire the Cypriot citizenship simultaneously.
      • Furthermore, the Decision of the Council of Ministers clarifies that for the purposes of the Scheme the term partner is interpreted in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Partnership Law 184(I)/2015. According to this law the State recognizes any civil partnership that had been concluded in the Republic of Cyprus, or any other state in accordance with the legislation of that state and is still in power.
    • The minor children of the investor
      • The application for the grant of the Cypriot citizenship to the children of the investor that are under the age of eighteen is submitted after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship and provided that the other parent consents to the grant of the citizenship. The application is filed at the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
    • The financially dependent adult children of the investor
      • The right to apply for Citizenship is also granted to the financially dependent adult children of the Investor. The Decision of the Council of Ministers has determined that it will regard as financially dependent adult children individuals belonging to one of the below categories:
        • students up to the age of 28 that are attending an institution of higher education aiming to obtain a diploma or an undergraduate or a master’s degree. The Decision excludes individuals who are studying for the acquisition of a professional qualification (e.g. chartered accountants or barrister).
        • children with severe physical or mental disability that renders them unable to work. The application can be submitted after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship. These applications (Form M127) are filed at the Ministry of Interior.
    • The parents of the investor
      • The parent’s of the investor may apply for citizenship after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship. These applications (Form M127) are filed at the Ministry of Interior.
      • In order for the investor’s parents to be able to apply for citizenship, they need to hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. It is noted the investor and his/her parents, may collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property is at least €1.000.000, plus V.A.T.

CREC - CYPRUS Citizenship by Investment13. BENEFITS

  1. Safety and stability conditions of Cyprus: highly specialized human capital, reliable legislative and regulatory framework, stable and beneficial tax system;
  2. European Union citizenship and Euro-zone membership: visa free visit for 159 countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan etc.;
  3. Attractive legislation for citizenship: obtain a Permanent Residence Permit or EU/Cyprus citizenship which can be secured within 6-8 months;
  4. Low tax rate and free trade within the European Union: 12.5% of corporation tax
  5. Strategic location: easier access to new markets, an active transshipment center and attractive business hub;
  6. Hydrocarbon opportunities: substantial oil and gas reserves will attract business from all over the world thereby boosting the countries’ economy;
  7. A beautiful working and living environment: 340 days of sunshine a year;
  8. Perfect timing for investment and high potential of investment growth

Disclaimer: The communication herein is intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. It should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The facts stated may not reflect the most current legal developments. No action should be taken in reliance on the information herein. Qualified legal practitioners should be contacted for professional legal advice on specific issues.

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