Grant of the Cypriot citizenship to non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/ investors through the “Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by exception”
One of the main objectives of the economic policy of the Republic of Cyprus is to further encourage Foreign Direct Investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus. Key factors that make Cyprus an attractive destination for investment, is the highly specialized human capital, the reliable legislative and regulatory framework, the stable tax system and the safety and stability conditions prevailing in the country.
Within this framework and taking into account the strong investor interest, the
Government of Cyprus has established and revised a “Scheme for Naturalization of non- Cypriot investors by exception” on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015, with specific incentives, terms and conditions and control procedures in order to prevent abuse.
On the basis of the Scheme, a non-Cypriot citizen, who meets the following economic criteria set out in Part A, for investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects, either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/ she participates as a shareholder – in proportion to his holding percentage, or through investments done by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that meets one of the economic criteria set out in Part A, may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception. A high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues of at least €100,000 over a three year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid. The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years as from the date of the naturalization. In addition, the applicant must fulfil the Terms and Conditions set out in Part B. In the case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been established that a criterion, term or condition of the Scheme has been breached, the granted naturalization may be revoked.
A. INVESTMENT IN REAL ESTATE, LAND DEVELOPMENT AND
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS :
The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2,0 million for the
purchase or construction of buildings or for the construction of other land
development projects (residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector) or other infrastructure projects.
It is noted that investment in land under development is included in this criterion, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land will be included in the application. It is understood that investment in land that is situated in a building zone of zero development, is excluded.
B. TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. Clean Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record.
Furthermore, his name must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the European Union, have been frozen as the result of sanctions.
2. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus:The applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T.
It is noted that members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000 per each applicant.
In case that the purchase value of the permanent privately owned residence in
Cyprus exceeds the amount of €500,000, part of this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria of Part A above.
Additionally, it is noted that if the applicant has invested in housing unit/units on the basis of the aforementioned criteria, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000, plus VAT, provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life.
C. SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS
For the evaluation of the applications the form (M127) as well as the following
documents must be submitted:
1. Clean Criminal Record:
Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if different).
2. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus:
(a) Contract of Sale.
(b)Title Deeds or Proof of Registration of the contract with the Lands and
(c) Proof of payment of the agreed purchase price.
(d) Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company.
(e) An evaluation certificate from an independent registered land surveyor, if required by the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Finance.
3. Criteria regarding the investment (when applicable):
(a) Certificate of Registration of the company/ companies by the Registrar of
(b) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies or certificates
evidencing that the applicant is the beneficiary owner of the company/ companies.
(c) Audited accounts of the company (or companies) for the last three years
preceding the year of the application.
(d) If the applicant is a high-ranking senior manager, the submission of the
employment contract and the receipt from the Department of Inland Revenue are additionally required.
(e) If the investment is made by the spouse of the applicant or jointly, a marriage certificate is required.
None of the above affects the absolute discretion of the Cabinet of Ministers on taking a decision.
The most significant modifications are as follows:
- An annual quota of 700 applications is introduced (as from 2018);
- The expected period for the examination of each application is now 6 months;
- A newly set-up “Committee of Supervision and Control” for the Cyprus Investment Programme (consists of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Interior and the non-profit company Invest Cyprus) is established to monitor the smooth implementation of the Cyprus Investment Program.
- Investors must keep their investment for a minimum of 3 years, as was the case before the changes. Nevertheless, in case the investment is made in real estate that is under development, the 3-year period begins to count from the day the Town Planning Permit of the related real estate is issued. In the case where, the Town Planning Permit exists as at the time of the application, the minimum period of 3 years begins to count from the date of issuance of the naturalization certificate;
- As from 1st August 2018, all applicants must submit a report containing the results of due diligence report from an internationally recognised and accredited firm (e.g. World Check, LexisNexis Diligence, Regulatory DataCorp Inc, etc.). The report must be dated not later than 30 days from the date of its submission.
ADVANTAGES OF CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP
THE FASTEST ROUTE TO EU CITIZENSHIP :
Passport granted in only 6 months
VISA FREE TRAVEL:
Visa-free travel to 159 countries including 28 EU countries including Switzerland, Liechtenstein & Canada
HIGHLY SPECIALIZED HUMAN CAPITAL:
Service-based economy, equipped to assist on professional and private matters.
RELIABLE LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY SYSTEM:
Sound, transparent and reliable systems in place
STABLE TAX SYSTEM:
Low tax regime and based on European best practice.
SAFETY AND STABILITY CONDITIONS:
Ideal environment for families, advanced education system and highly safe to raise children.