On 13 September 2016, the Cyprus Government approved the new Scheme for the Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception. The said scheme is based on subsection (2) in section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015.
The said amendments are in line with the strategy of the Cyprus Government to further attract foreign direct investment and encourage the use of Cyprus by high net worth Individuals. Thus the already investor-friendly scheme is now more attractive.
A. INVESTMENT OPTIONS / ECONOMIC CRITERIA
NOTE 1: Except as specified under A(1) below, it is a pre-requisite that the applicant acquires a permanent residence of at least €500,000.
NOTE 2: All amounts are exclusive of VAT, if applicable.
1. Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects
Investment of at least €2 million for the purchase or construction of immovable property or development creation such as residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector or other infrastructure projects. If the said investment is in a permanent residence, then the additional amount specified under Note (1) above is waived.
Mere purchase of land is allowed provided the land is eligible for construction (in which case a business plan must be presented to the relevant authorities for approval).
2. Purchase or creation or participation in Cyprus businesses or companies
Investment of at least €2 million by way of acquisition, creation or participation in businesses or companies that have physical presence and activities (with at least five Cypriot or EU citizen employees that have been residing in Cyprus for at least the preceding five years) in Cyprus.
A business/investment plan should be in place detailing the exclusive use of the investment within Cyprus.
3. Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cyprus companies or organisations licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission
Purchase of units with a value of at least €2 million in Alternative Investment Funds or of financial assets of Cyprus companies or organisations licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission.
The investments of these funds or companies should be made exclusively within Cyprus. The administrator and the auditor of the fund is obliged to report to the relevant Ministries on an annual basis, that the initial investment amount is in place.
4. Combination of the aforementioned options
The applicant may combine any one or more of the abovementioned options so long as the investment is at least €2 million. For the purposes of this option, the investor may also purchase government bonds (of the Republic of Cyprus) of up to €500,000.
B. WHO CAN APPLY & ELIGIBILITY OF FAMILY MEMBERS
- On the basis of the Scheme, a
non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one of the economic criteria under
(A) above, either personally or through a company/companies in
which he/she participates as a shareholder (in proportion to
his/her 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 the said criteria, may
apply under the Scheme.
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 application can include the children of the applicant up to the age of 28 years.
- The applicant's parents are entitled to apply for citizenship under the same application provided they have also purchased a permanent residence in Cyprus of at least €500,000.
C. PRE-REQUISITES & OTHER CONDITIONS
- The applicant must be a holder of a residence permit in order to qualify. The applicant may apply for a residence permit simultaneously with the submission of the Citizenship application; the criteria for the acquisition of the residence permit are identical to those prescribed for the Program.
- The investments attached to the application must remain for a minimum of three years, whereas in order for the Cyprus citizenship to remain valid the permanent residence (of at least €500,000) must be held indefinitely.
- The applicant must have a clean criminal record and 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. Other documents required are: Valid passport copy, birth certificate and detailed c.v.
D. TIME TO CITIZENSHIP
- Filing fee for citizenship:
- ➢ €2,000 per adult;
- ➢ €2,000 per adult child; and
- ➢ 80 per minor child.
- Approval fee for citizenship:
- ➢ €2,000 per adult; and
- ➢ €5,000 per adult child.
- Permanent residency fee: €500 per application.
E. TIME TO CITIZENSHIP
Qualified applicants can be granted Cyprus citizenship approval in 6 months from submission of all necessary documents, making the Cyprus citizenship program the fastest in Europe.
Originally published 5 October 2016
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.