Obtaining A Cyprus Citizenship – New Rules
The Council of Ministers decided to implement the “economic citizenship programme” (in accordance with paragraph 2 (F) third table of Civil Registry and Migration Law) on the receipt of Cypriot citizenship by applicants who meet any of the criteria set out below.
- Gross investment and donations to State fund:
The applicant should have invested and donated at least:
- The amount of €2 million for the purchase of shares or bonds of an investment company of the State. This amount should be deposited at the Treasury of the State until the shares or bonds are issued.
- The amount of €500,000 in the form of a gift to the Research and Technology fund of the State.
- Direct Investments:
- The applicant should have direct investments of at least €5 million, including the acquisition of immovable property such as purchase of house, office, shop, or hotel. (Acquisition of undeveloped is not applicable for direct investments)
- Acquisition of one or more businesses or companies based and active in the Republic of Cyprus
- Acquisition of shares of one or more companies incorporated in Cyprus
- Acquisition of financial instruments issued in the Republic of Cyprus (such as debentures, securities etc.), including those be issued by the Solidarity Fund
- Participation in a joint venture or company which has undertaken the execution of a public project.
For points a to d, the applicant should keep these assets for at least three years.
It must be noted that for the period ending 30 June 2014, the Minister of the Interior has the right to reduce the amount for direct investments to €2 million for non-Cypriot Citizens that can prove that they are participating in a special team project of real estate. Such a project must include in its entirety the purchase of real estate situated in Cyprus with the value not less than €10 billion, which is controlled by the Cyprus Government.
- Deposits in Cyprus Banks:
The applicant should have personal deposits (or deposits of private companies in which he is the final beneficiary) of at least €5 million in Cyprus Banks for a fixed period of three years, in the Republic of Cyprus.
- Combination of grossed investments and donations to State funds (1), Direct Investments (2) and Deposits in Cyprus Banks (3).
The applicant must have a combination of the above amounting to €5 million.
- Business Activities:
The applicant must be a shareholder or ultimate beneficial owner of a company or group of companies where the administration of this company/companies is carried out in Cyprus and during the last three years before the submission of the application, it has paid to the government corporate tax, VAT and other taxes and also fees for the purchase of business services (legal, accounting, audit etc.) amounting at least to a total of €500,000 per year.
Otherwise, if the individual is a shareholder or ultimate beneficial owner in a company or companies which operate in Cyprus, have their headquarters in Cyprus and employ at least five Cyprus citizens, then the minimum amount to have been paid for the above (corporate tax, VAT and other taxes and purchase of business services) is reduced to €350,000 per year for the last three years before the submission of the application.
If the individual is a shareholder or ultimate beneficial owner in a company or companies that operate in Cyprus, have their headquarters in Cyprus and employ at least 10 Cyprus citizens, then the minimum amount to have been paid for the above (corporate tax, VAT and other taxes and purchase of business services) is reduced to €200,000 per year for the last three years before the submission of the application.
If the applicant has paid less than the above amounts, then criteria 1, 2 and/or 3 may be combined. The total amount paid to the government and the business services over the last three years will be reduced from the required investment for the satisfaction of the criteria 1, 2 and/or 3.
For any such company or companies, applications can be submitted for up to two shareholders, preferably those having the majority of the share capital.
- Deposits in Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank:
The applicant has incurred losses of his deposits in The Bank of Cyprus or Laiki Bank or both that is over €3 million as a result of the measures imposed on 15 March 2013.
If the applicant has incurred losses less than €3 million, he can apply after he makes direct investment (1) or gross investments (2) and donation to the State Fund (3) for the remaining amount of this criterion.
Terms and conditions
In all cases, the applicant must have:
- A clean criminal record
- Residence in Cyprus; owning immovable property in Cyprus with a market value of not less than €500000.