Cyprus Profile | Legal Background | Program Details | Program Advantages

 


Cyprus Profile:

Cyprus_symbolSovereignty: The Republic of Cyprus has “de jure” sovereignty over the island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters, except for the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, administered as Sovereign Base Areas.

Location: Officially the Republic of Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is located east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and north of Egypt.

Government Type: A government framework comprised of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system.

Interesting facts: Expansive coastline providing a wide variety of beaches, ranging from secluded bays, to lively resorts, sandy beaches and rocky coves. Cyprus is also known for having a rich natural heritage.

Population: A population of 1,155,403 and a land area of 9251 km2.

Demographics: Ethnic groups Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, Other 5%. Religions Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Maronite, and Armenian Apostolic.

Economy: The economy of Cyprus is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy, and was included by the International Monetary Fund in its list of advanced economies in 2001. Its strong economic sectors include professional services, tourism and shipping. Cyprus’ maritime sector continues to grow and the island is considered one of the most influential global hubs for ship owning and ship management services – boasting some of the world’s most influential names in shipping. In addition to the traditional ‘sun and sea’ package, Cyprus has been diversifying its tourism product with the development of luxury marinas and golf courses and niche markets such as cultural, sports, conference and agro-tourism.


Legal Background:

Flag_CyprusIn line with the policy of encouraging foreign direct investments and attracting high net worth investors, the Cyprus Council of Ministers has revised and introduced, the “Scheme for Naturalization of non Cypriot investors by exception”, dated 13/09/2016, 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.


Program Details:

  • The program is considered one of the most popular citizenship-by-investment programs.
  • On the basis of the Scheme for exceptional naturalization of investors, a non-Cypriot citizen who falls in one of the following Categories (i – iii) is considered to be eligible to apply for the acquisition Cypriot Citizenship provided that he/she meets one of the financial criteria (A).(i) Natural persons, either personally or through a company/companies in which they are participating as shareholders, in proportion to their holding percentage.(ii) Natural persons through investments made by their spouse or jointly with the spouse(iii) High-ranking senior managers of a company (provided that they receive a remuneration that generates paid tax revenues of at least €100.000 over three (3) years).

Α. FINANCIAL CRITERIA

Α.1 Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects of at least €2,0 million:

The applicant must have made an investment 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, or investment in land under development (accompanied with an investment plan).

Α.2 Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Organizations of at least €2,0 million:

Investment must have made towards the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan. The companies or organizations must have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or citizens of European Union member-states, who have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application submission date.

Α.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec of at least €2,0 million:

The applicant should have bought units from AIF established in Cyprus, licensed and supervised by the CySec and whose investments are made exclusively in Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this Scheme or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance or, should have purchased the financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations, issued with the approval of the CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in Cyprus, and have as a purpose the financing of the investment plans of these companies or organizations exclusively in Cyprus, based on an investment plan.

Α.4 Combination of the aforementioned investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2,0 million:

Within criterion A.4, the applicant has the option to purchase special government bonds, up to €500.000, which will be issued by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance of Cyprus.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Clean Criminal Record: The investor must have a clean criminal record and 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: An investor who proceeded with an investment in other than the purchase of residential properties (housing unit/units), must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. and retain its possession for life.
    In case the investment is made in residential properties (housing unit/units), the requirement is not applicable, if at least one of the units is worth at least €500.000 (+VAT), provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life.
    This means that Cypriot citizenship can be obtained by a total investment of €2,0 million only!
  3. Residence Permit in Cyprus: The investor, prior to his naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. If the investor does not already hold a residence permit, he may apply, simultaneously with the application for naturalization.
    The procedure for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship will be completed, provided that the investor holds a residence permit for a period of at least six (6) months; no physical residence is required. In case the investor does not hold a residence permit for the aforementioned time period, he will need to wait until the six (6) month period is completed.
    Nevertheless, the citizenship application will be examined and an approval will be granted within 3 months from its submission.
  4. It is important to be noted that the applicant should have made the necessary investments during the three (3) years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three (3) years as from the date of the naturalization.

INVESTOR’S FAMILY MEMBERS: 

Along with the investor, the following family members may also obtain the Cypriot citizenship:

Spouse/partner: The application of the investor’s spouse/partner may be field simultaneously with the investor’s application or at any later stage.
Minor children: Dependent children up to the age of 18 may apply, after the investor has acquired the Cypriot Citizenship and provided that the other parent consents to the grant of the citizenship.
Adult children: The application of the financially dependent adult children of the investor may be field after the investor has acquired Cypriot citizenship, provided that they to one of the following two categories: a) Students up to the age of 28 who attend an institution of higher education aiming to obtain a diploma or an undergraduate or a master’s degree, b) Children with severe physical / mental disability that prohibits employment.
Parents: The investor’s parents may also apply for Cypriot citizenship after the investor has acquired the Cypriot citizenship, provided that they are owners of a private residence of at least €500.000 (+VAT). The investor and his parents may collectively acquire one residential property of a total value of at least €1,0 million.

  • It is noted that adult family members of the investor who apply for Cypriot Citizenship must have a clean criminal record and residence permit in Cyprus for a period of six (6) months.


Program Advantages:

  • Simple and efficient vehicle to obtain European citizenship
  • Strategic geographical position and excellent worldwide connections
  • Right to immediately travel, reside, work and study anywhere within the EU
  • Establishment and free movement of capital, services and goods
  • Visa-free access to 158 countries
  • Fast track procedure: Approval is issued within three (3) months
  • Only six (6) months residence permit prior the naturalization
  • No physical residency in Cyprus is required
  • Exit strategy after three (3) years from the date of naturalization
  • Pure investment, no donation required
  • No language requirement
  • No medical test is needed
  • Dual citizenship is allowed
  • Legacy to future generations
  • No inheritance tax
  • Corporation tax regime 12.5%
  • No tax on dividends for Non-domiciled Cypriots
  • Comprehensive double tax treaty network (more than 50 double tax treaties with third countries)
  • High quality of life including natural beauty and pleasant Mediterranean climate with year-round sunshine
  • Safe environment with low crime rates, ideal for a peaceful family life