Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus

Usually, the Cypriot citizenship can be obtained if a foreigner lives in this country for a continuous period of time and if the foreigner is the holder of a permanent residence permit. Citizenship can also be awarded if the foreigner has a Cypriot lineage and each of these situations has its own legal procedures.

Besides the options mentioned above, the Cypriot legislation provides the opportunity of obtaining citizenship through investments concluded in this country. Although in other countries this option is also available, investors have to wait several years until they can obtain citizenship, but in Cyprus another approach is preferred; our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present the steps investors must follow in this case.

The Cypriot approach for the issuance of citizenship is that the foreigner can acquire the right to become a citizen of the country within six months after the investment was made, which represents the simplest program of this kind at the level of the European Union (EU).

What are the grounds for obtaining Cypriot citizenship by investment?

The opportunity to acquire a rapid citizenship by investment in Cyprus is regulated under the Scheme for Naturalization of non-Cypriot Investors by Exception, approved by the Ministry of Interior. The scheme is designed to promote foreign investments in this country and to offer multiple benefits to those moving to Cyprus and willing to invest large sums of money in the local economy. The basic criteria for obtaining citizenship by investment are presented in the list below:

• the foreign investor has to be prepared to make an investment in the real estate sector of at least EUR 2 million;
• the investor must also make a donation of EUR 75,000 to the Government Research and Development Fund;
• another donation (both are necessary) must be made to the Land Development Organization, and its value must also be of EUR 75,000;
• the initial value of the investment can be reduced to EUR 500,000 after 5 years;
• the entire family of the applicant is eligible to participate in the program, including children of up to 28 years old and citizenship can be obtained in only 6 months.

The program does not aim only investments in real estate properties, as investors interested in relocating to Cyprus can also invest in infrastructure projects or participate in local businesses. They are also allowed to establish a local business and invest the required amount in it or to purchase a Cypriot business. The purpose of these actions is to channel the respective investment as a financing method for specific business goals that can help the local economy.

Another option that grants the right of moving to Cyprus and obtaining the Cypriot citizenship is by investing the same amount of money in an alternative investment fund or in Cypriot companies that fall under the supervision of the financial regulator of the country. The respective investments will also have to be concluded for the benefit of the Cypriot economy.

What are the requirements for the investor in Cyprus?

In order to be eligible for citizenship by investment in Cyprus, the investor must meet the above mentioned financial requirements presented earlier in this article, but he or she must also comply with additional matters, which can be detailed at length by our Cyprus immigration lawyers.

The first eligibility criterion is to have a clean criminal record, but also a clean financial record. The person must have his or her residence in Cyprus and have a residential property with a value of minimum EUR 500,000. As a general rule, the person must have a residence permit issued in Cyprus prior to his or her naturalization, but exemptions from this rule can apply.

For example, the person is allowed to apply for a residence permit at the same time he or she applies for naturalization, under the provisions of the Aliens and Immigration Law. In order to receive citizenship, the applicant must prepare a large set of documents.

What documents are needed for citizenship by investment in Cyprus?

The investor must prepare a certificate issued in the country of origin that states the current situation of the criminal record. Then, he or she must prepare all the documents attesting residence in Cyprus (the sale contract, proof of payment of the property price).

Depending on the nature of the investment, the person relocating to Cyprus has to prepare the company’s documents or the papers attesting the investments in real estate or alternative investment funds. Considering that in this case, there is a need to submit multiple papers, we invite you to contact our team of Cyprus immigration lawyers for legal advice.