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Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus

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 Cyprus 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, and this is the case of Cyprus too; our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present the steps investors must follow in this case.

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

However, since 2020, the rules of obtaining citizenship by investment in Cyprus modified and we invite you to learn more about this subject in the following article.

What were the grounds for obtaining Cypriot citizenship by investment?

The opportunity to acquire a rapid citizenship by investment in Cyprus was regulated under the Scheme for Naturalization of non-Cypriot Investors by Exception, approved by the Ministry of Interior.

 Quick Facts  
  Nationalities accepted (EU/Non-EU)

non-EU (EU citizens do not need to meet certain requirements) 

Business investment option (YES/NO)

yes, investments in real estate (commercial, residential) 

Real estate investment option (YES/NO)

 yes
Other investment options
(if available) 
yes – starting a local business

 

Living requirement in Cyprus  (YES/NO) no 
Residence or direct citizenship option

residence – yes / citizenship – no 

Direct immigration with family members (YES/NO)

yes   

Family members allowed to join the program spouse, children, parents 
Residence visa/citizenship processing time (approx.)   approx. 2 months (it can increase to maximum 6 months) 
Additional financial requirements for family members (YES/NO)  yes
Timeframe for obtaining citizenship/residency by investment  citizenship can be obtained after 7 years of living in Cyprus 
Dual citizenship permitted (YES/NO) yes
Reasons to choose 
Cyprus 
EU member state, it uses EUR as national currency, it has skilled workforce, attractive business environment, suitable law, attractive tax regime, low costs associated with doing business
Personal income tax rate progressive system – taxes of 0%, 20%, 25%, 30% and 35%
Visa free travel to other countries (approx. number of countries)  175 countries 

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

The program did not aim only investments in real estate properties, as investors interested in relocating to Cyprus could also invest in infrastructure projects or participate in local businesses.

They were 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 was 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 was 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 investments made had to be concluded in the benefit of the Cypriot market.

Please address to our immigration lawyer in Cyprus if you are interested in obtaining Cypriot citizenship in 2022, as new regulations will apply to your particular case.

Obtaining citizenship by investment in Cyprus is possible, but the legal framework has recently changed and this means that it can affect the applications of investors interested to relocate to Cyprus in 2022 for citizenship matters. As such, legal assistance may be required.

Currently, the program mentioned above that could provide the right to citizenship by investment in Cyprus is no longer active, but it hasn’t been open since 2020, and at the moment one can’t participate in this program, so other options should be explored by foreign investors.

What are the requirements for the investor in Cyprus?

In order to be eligible for citizenship by investment in Cyprus, the investor had to 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 – not only for the program that was closed, but for any other visa pathways available for investors.

The person was required to 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.

In the past, the person was allowed to apply for a Cyprus permanent residence permit at the same time he or she applied for naturalization, under the provisions of the Aliens and Immigration Law.

In the current context, the applicant must first become a permanent resident and then to apply for citizenship. In order to receive citizenship, the applicant must prepare a large set of documents.

How can a foreigner obtain citizenship by investment in Cyprus in 2022?


The law that is currently applicable states that foreigners, including investors, will first have to become residents of Cyprus, prior to having the right to apply for citizenship.

The advantage of the new program is that successful applicants can become permanent residents if they satisfy the basic requirements, but the rules for citizenship in Cyprus, even through investments, have become more stringent and complex.

In 2022, foreign investors can relocate to Cyprus with their family and they can apply for citizenship after five years of living in this country, based on the permit that was issued upon the first arrival in the country.

The new visa program provides the opportunity to benefit of a residence permit that does not have to be renewed, as long as the holders of the permit meet their residency requirements, in the sense that they spend the necessary number of days per year in this country.

The residency by investment program allows the investor to bring in Cyprus family members such as: spouse, children, parents and the parents in law, but one has to be aware of the fact that this program does not provide the right to work in Cyprus.

Thus, if you want to immigrate to Cyprus under this program, employment is not allowed.

In order to qualify under the new investment program, the foreigner is not required to invest an amount as large as presented at the beginning of the article, nor is he or she required to start a business in Cyprus.

For instance, one of the ways in which residency can be acquired (which will then lead to citizenship in Cyprus), is by investments in properties. The foreigner can qualify if he or she will invest at least EUR 300,000 in a new residential property.

It doesn’t matter if the property is an apartment or a house, if in this sum of money the foreigner will buy a single property or more, the important aspect is that the residential property is a new property, which did not have a previous owner.

One can qualify if the applicant purchases a commercial property of various types, such as a store, a shop, offices, accommodation units, or any combination of such properties.

It can also be other types of units, as long as they are assimilated to the definition of a commercial property, meaning that the units already serve a commercial purpose or they will serve a future business.

The person is also allowed to start a business in Cyprus in order to qualify or to purchase shares in a company operating in Cyprus. There are additional requirements that have to be fulfilled – the company must employ at least 5 persons.

If you want to start a company here, we advise you to request legal advice from our immigration lawyer in Cyprus, who can present all the formalities you have to prepare for.

The program can also be accessed by foreign investors who are able to invest in investment funds registered as alternative investment funds or other types of collective investments.

Besides the types of investments that are accepted, the foreign applicant must make the proof of having sufficient financial funds for personal purposes.

Here, a minimum income of EUR 30,000 per year must be proved and in the case in which the foreigner will bring his or her family, the amount will increase by EUR 5,000 per each family member or by EUR 8,000 in the case in which the foreigner brings the parents (the parents of the applicant or the in-laws).

As said above, this program for immigration in Cyprus can’t be used for employment, but successful applicants are entitled to work as the directors of the companies that they have set up or the companies that they invested in, but without being remunerated for their activity, because they will also have shareholding rights, which are translated in the right of being paid in dividends.

Our immigration lawyer can provide more details on how to enter this program and what other qualifying conditions are imposed to foreigners.

Our lawyer can present any other additional information regarding the manner in which the citizenship by investment in Cyprus can be obtained in 2022.

What are the highlights of the permanent residency by investment in Cyprus?


The investment program allows foreigners to explore the legal pathway that can offer them permanent residency, which can be acquired by the applicant’s family as well.

Some of the advantages are not related only to the fact that the investor and his or her family receive the right to stay in Cyprus on an indefinite basis. It also allows the right to study in this country.

As a member state of the European Union (EU), Cyprus grants the opportunity of moving freely in all the EU member states as a permanent resident.

Please mind that the foreigner does not have to obtain the citizenship by investment in Cyprus in order to benefit from the right of free access to the EU market, as permanent residency will suffice.

The only difference between permanent residency and citizenship is that the latter grants the right to having a Cypriot passport, the right to vote in Cyprus and the right to be hired in top public functions.

Other than these, there aren’t any other significant differences between the 2 categories. Unlike citizenship application, the one for permanent residency does not require foreigners to meet any language criteria.

Thus, the procedure for immigration in Cyprus can be rather simple. In the list below, our immigration lawyer in Cyprus has prepared a short description of this program:

  • the permanent residency opens the pathway to citizenship by investment in Cyprus, which can be obtained in a period of 7 years since the moment when the foreigner received the residency;
  • the minimum investment, of EUR 300,000, can be invested in residential properties;
  • the same investment is accepted if the investment is 1 residential property and 1 commercial property, as long as the latter has a surface of minimum 250 square meters;
  • please mind that to the minimum investment of EUR 300,000 a VAT of 19% must be calculated, so investors should prepare to invest a higher sum of money;
  • successful applicants are not required to relocate to Cyprus on a permanent basis – they can come here every 2 years.


Please be aware of the fact that the file for permanent residency by investment can be processed in a period of approximately 2 months, but the duration of this process can increase to up to 6 months.

Thus, we advise investors who want to immigrate to Cyprus to prepare all documents in due time and take the necessary measures so that they have all the immigration documents prior to the moment when they want to arrive here.

How can one obtain Cyprus permanent residence through the Cypriot golden visa?

Golden visas in Cyprus are awarded to foreign citizens who are able to make a significant investment in this country, which can take the form of investments in real estate properties or investments in existing or new businesses. Golden visas provide a set of advantages, given the foreigner’s financial effort invested in the Cypriot economy.

At the moment, the Cypriot legislation provides for two types of golden visas: one can provide the right of moving to Cyprus on a permanent basis and it is available for persons willing to purchase a property in this country and the other one can provide very rapid access to Cypriot citizenship, with the mention that the investment required is rather large (of EUR 2 million). Our team of Cyprus immigration lawyers can present the legal requirements associated with the issuance of each type of document and can also assist investors when relocating here.

The Golden Visa program through which foreigners who are citizens of countries outside the European Union (EU) can obtain permanent residency was designed to attract high net worth individuals, able to invest in this country. Thus, wealthy persons interested in moving to Cyprus can benefit from an accelerated program if they are willing to purchase a property here.

In all other cases, the right to permanent residency can be granted after a foreigner has been living in Cyprus for a period of 5 years. Upon their arrival, such persons first have to apply for a temporary residence permit, if they will stay here for a period longer than three months. Under the Golden Visa program, foreigners can avoid this process by meeting the following criteria:

• investing a minimum of EUR 300,000 in a real estate property;
• the minimum value of the deposit for the purchase of the property is of EUR 200,000;
• the applicant can purchase 2 residential properties, with a cumulative value of EUR 300,000, value added tax excluded, as long as they are bought from the same developer;
• the foreigner can also purchase 1 property and 1 shop with a minimum surface of 100 square meters;
• it is also allowed to purchase 1 residential property and 1 office, with a minimum surface of 250 square meters;
• the foreigner must open a bank account in Cyprus, where he or she is required to deposit at least EUR 30,000.

How can one obtain Cypriot citizenship through the golden visa in Cyprus?

The Golden Visa program also allows foreigners to gain access to Cypriot citizenship in a very rapid manner. Those relocating to Cyprus for investment purposes can apply for a Cyprus permanent residence permit at the same time when they are preparing their papers that are to be analyzed by the Ministry of Interior, this being an exemption granted to this particular immigration procedure. You can find out more on the Web Portal of the Republic of Cyprus. The particularities of the Golden Visa in Cyprus which grants the right to citizenship are mentioned below:

• make a donation of EUR 75,000 to the Government Research and Development Fund;
• be able to invest at least EUR 2 million in real estate, infrastructure projects or alternative investment funds;
• make another donation of EUR 75,000 to the Land Development Organization;
• the investment in the local economy has to be maintained for at least 5 years;
• after 5 years, the value of the investment can be reduced to EUR 500,000;
• if these basic requirements are met, the foreigner can relocate to Cyprus in a period of 6 months.

The Cyprus migration laws stipulate that in the case in which the application will be refused by the local authorities, the foreign applicant can be refunded, but this can apply for specific types of real estate investments. Our team of Cyprus immigration lawyers can present more details on the rules of law available for foreign investments in real estate projects.

Investors applying for this Golden Visa should also consider that the local authorities will not require the applicants to know the local language. They will not have to pass an interview with the local authorities, as it is the case of most of the persons interested in obtaining Cypriot citizenship.

Those who are interested in the Golden visa program in Cyprus for 2022 are invited to request legal advice from our team of immigration lawyers. For a clear presentation on the legislation applicable at the moment, our immigration lawyer in Cyprus has prepared an in-depth list of all the aspects that you should expect in 2022, and this is why we highly recommend to request legal assistance and advice.

Another important advantage of the Golden visa in Cyprus is that the foreigner can bring his or her family in this country – the spouse, children and the applicant’s parents being eligible. For more details on the documents an applicant should submit and information on the entire process, we invite you to address our Cyprus immigration lawyers.



How can permanent residency turn to citizenship in Cyprus?


If you relocate to Cyprus through the permanent residency by investment program, you will become a permanent resident, if you want to remain in this country.

The foreigner will have the right to apply for citizenship after being a permanent resident for 5 years; however, the applicant has to show that he or she started having a close connection with Cyprus for a period of 7 years (by investments, purchasing properties, etc.).

Even though for the permanent residency by investment also named golden visa in Cyprus the foreigner will not have to comply with residency requirements, when applying for citizenship, there are other rules.

Thus, is it mandatory to make the proof of having lived in this country for a total of 1825 days. Please be aware of the fact that in the year before applying for citizenship the person is required to permanently stay in the country.

Short departures are allowed (such as holiday and vacations to other countries or to the country of origin), but there is a limit on the number of days for this particular situation.

Thus, if you want to prepare to apply for citizenship, do not hesitate to request legal advice from our immigration lawyer in Cyprus, who can present all the legal requirements that can apply to your particular case.

What documents are needed for citizenship by investment in Cyprus in 2022?

The foreigner has to prepare a criminal record that is issued by the authorities of the state where he or she has the residency. 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 on how to obtain the golden visa in Cyprus.

How to obtain citizenship in Cyprus

The main legislation under which foreign citizens can obtain Cypriot citizenship is the Nationality Law which was enacted in 1967. There are several ways of acquiring citizenship in this country:

  • by marrying a Cypriot citizen,
  • by naturalization,
  • by investment.

Obtaining a Cypriot passport by investment in 2022 has suffered several amendments. For information about the Citizenship by Investment Program you can refer to our lawyers in Cyprus who will provide you with the qualifying criteria.

Citizenship by marriage in Cyprus

Foreign citizens marrying a Cypriot national are allowed to apply for citizenship provided that they have lived together in the country for three continuous years. The documents required to submit for obtaining a Cypriot passport after marrying a national are:

  • the birth certificate,
  • a certificate of a clean criminal record,
  • the marriage certificate,
  • children’s birth certificates, where applicable,
  • a passport copy,
  • a copy after the spouse’s passport,
  • a declaration of harmonious cohabitation signed before a District Administration Officer or a diplomatic authority, such as embassies or consulates,
  • a statement of harmonious cohabitation issued by the local authorities,
  • proof of fee payment.

In case the spouse has acquired Cypriot citizenship prior to the marriage he or she will be required to submit the certificate of acquisition of Cypriot citizenship. For more information about marriage registration you can ask our law firm in Cyprus.

Obtaining a Cypriot passport by naturalization in 2022

Another legal way of obtaining a citizenship in Cyprus is by residing in the country for 7 uninterrupted years. Most foreign citizens will acquire a Cypriot permanent residence permit before applying for citizenship. Foreign citizens with Cypriot parents can apply for citizenship by naturalization after living in the country for 5 consecutive years. In order to apply for Cypriot citizenship by naturalization, the foreign citizen must know the country’s legal system and language. The examination of the application for citizenship by naturalization in Cyprus could take several years.

The easiest way of obtaining Cypriot citizenship in 2022

While there is no special recipe to obtain citizenship in Cyprus, at the level of 2022, foreign citizens can apply for Cyprus passports through several means, among which investment represents one of the quickest ways. However, this requires an important investment from the applicant.

There is also the option of moving here based on a work contract and obtain Cypriot citizenship by meeting the legal requirements which have not changed for 2022 and which can be explained by our lawyers.

While there is no special recipe to obtain citizenship in Cyprus, at the level of 2022, foreign citizens can apply for Cyprus passports through several means, among which investment represents one of the quickest ways. However, this requires an important investment from the applicant.

There is also the option of moving here based on a work contract and obtain Cypriot citizenship by meeting the legal requirements which have not changed for 2022 and which can be explained by our lawyers.

There are no changes in respect to obtaining Cyprus citizenship in 2022, but if you have any questions, our law firm is at your service in order to answer them.

For details about the best way of acquiring citizenship, please contact our Cypriot lawyers.