Cyprus Citizenship for Foreign Investors

10.10.16 / INVESTMENT

By a decision approved by the Council of Ministers of Cyprus on 13th September 2016, the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception was amended, pursuant to section 111A (2) of the Civil Registry Laws 2002-2015. Investors can now apply for Cyprus Citizenship by making a stand-alone application (the previous ‘collective investments’ application has been abolished), upon making an investment under the new criteria which must be retained for a period of three years.

A.1 Investment in Real Estate: such as immovable property, developments and infrastructure projects. Under this investment plan, the applicant has to invest at least €2 million for the purchase and/or construction, and/or creation of developments such as commercial projects and/or development in the tourist sector and/or any other infrastructure projects. However, if the land is eligible for construction, a business plan needs to be presented to the relevant Authorities for approval. The total investment must be a minimum of €2 million, provided that one residential property is of at least €500.000 (excluding VAT). The residential property must be kept permanently.

A.2 Purchase or Incorporation of a Cyprus Company or participation in Cyprus businesses or Cyprus Companies.

The Applicant can invest at least €2 million in order to purchase, incorporate or participate in companies that have physical presence and activities in Cyprus and employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens who have been legally residing in Cyprus for a continuous period of at least 5 years. The minimum number of employees increases where more than one applicant invests in the same investment.

A.3 Investment in alternative investment funds (AIFs), financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations.

The Applicant can purchase financial assets of at least €2 million from organizations of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which are registered and whose activities are operated in the Republic of Cyprus and are licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (the CySEC). Any other investments which are approved by the Ministry of Finance may qualify for the present investment scheme.
The administrator and the auditor of the Fund is obliged to report to the relevant Ministries on an annual basis, that the initial investment amount is in place.

A.4 Combination of the above
Applicants can have a combination of any of the above criteria amounting to at least €2 million. Within this, the applicant may also purchase government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of a maximum amount of €500.000.

THE AMENDMENTS:
• The investment amount has been reduced to €2 million plus €500.000 (excluding VAT) for residential property for investments A2 – A4.
• The applicant has to obtain permanent residency in order to be approved for Cyprus Citizenship.
• The applicant’s parents are also entitled to apply for Cyprus citizenship by exception provided that they own a lifetime residence of at least €500.000 (excluding VAT).
• Where the purchase price of the residential property exceeds the amount of €500.000 (excluding VAT), the excess amount can be calculated and included in the whole investment.
• A cap has been set on investment in Cyprus Government Bonds.
• The criterion of bank deposits has been abolished.
• A combination of all economic criteria is now possible.
• A broader range of investments is now possible, including land for development, AIF’s and financial assets (bonds and debentures) of Cyprus companies issued by the CySEC.