Granting Cyprus citizenship through naturalisation by exception

A substantially increasing number of non-nationals have chosen Cyprus to migrate or set a business up, due to its favorable location, the low income tax, combined with the warm weather and low crime rate.

Why is obtaining Cyprus citizenship beneficial?

  • Cyprus citizens are entitled to live and work in any country in Europe without applying for visa.
  • A Cyprus passport allows travel to over 140 countries worldwide without having to apply for a visa.
  • Cyprus citizens can be issued visas quickly to other countries at little to sometimes no cost.
  • Cyprus passports provide access to the best educational & health care institutions within the EU.
  • Cyprus allows for individuals to have dual citizenship (2 passports).
  • Dual citizenship is an effective tool used for tax planning and may also protect against political instability.

Applicants may apply for Cyprus citizenship if one of the following economic criteria is met:

1. Investment in government bonds

The applicant is required to purchase state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of at least €5 million.

2. Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisations

The applicant is required to purchase financial assets of the Cypriot companies or organisations (e.g., bonds / securities / debentures registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus) of at least €5 million.

Note: the financial assets should be purchased at the date of issue or subsequently in the market.

3. Investments in real estate, land development and projects infrastructure

The applicant is required to invest at least 5 million euros in purchase or construction of buildings, in other land development projects (residential or commercial projects, tourist area projects) or other infrastructure projects.

4.  Purchase, creation or participation in Cyprus businesses or companies

The applicant is required to make an investment of at least 5 million euros in the purchase, creation or participation in a Cyprus-based operating business or a company. These businesses or companies should confirm their tangible presence in Cyprus, and employ at least five citizens of Cyprus.

Please note that this requirement implies that deposits are to be transferred into shares.

5. Bank deposits

The applicant (or a company, or a trust where the applicant is the main beneficiary) is required to have a minimum number fixed deposits totaling €5 million in Cyprus banks for at least three previous years.

6. Combination of the aforementioned criteria

Applicants may make an investment of 5 million euros in total, using a combination of aforementioned options. The applicant is required to have a combination of the aforementioned criteria amounting to at least €5 million.

7. Deposits impaired with the Popular Bank Public Company Ltd. due to the measures implemented after March 15th 2013

In case the amount of the applicant’s impaired deposits is at least €3 million, citizenship may be applied for. In case the amount of deposits is under €3 million, the applicant may also apply for obtaining citizenship. He/she will be required to make an additional investment as per 1–5 requirements, so that the amount received would reach the amount specified in these requirements (1-5).

Additional requirements:

An additional obligatory requirement is the purchase of a real estate in Cyprus with a minimum market value of €500,000 (excluding 19% VAT). Foreign origin of this value should be confirmed.

This real estate will be considered as the place of the investor’s permanent residency and has to remain in property of the investor within the whole period of possession of the Cypriot citizenship.

8. Major collective investments

  • For those investors who participate in a Major Collective Investment, the amount of the investment may be reduced to €2.5 million provided that the total value of investments is €12.5 million.
  • Investors participating in Major Collective Investment may invest €2 million provided that the total value of investments exceeds €12.5 million.

There is no requirement for purchasing real estate in a Major Collective Investment

Obtaining citizenship through investments takes about 3 months. Despite the aforementioned requirements the decision on granting the Cypriot citizenship is made upon the discretion of the Council of Ministers.

Granting Cyprus citizenship to investors by exception

Individuals who meet one of the economic criteria (section 8 - Collective investments) personally or through the company where they are Shareholders (based on participation share), and also Managers or Business Owners of the companies meeting one of the economic criteria (section 8) may apply for Cyprus citizenship through Naturalisation by Exception.

Managers or Business Owners can apply for it provided that overall 3-year tax revenues, if their annual income is at least €100,000 net salary (i.e. after tax has been deducted).

We have immigration experts on hand to assist you in the application and submission process for a Cyprus passport. Contact us for more details.

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