Cyprus is a European Union member state since 2004 and committed to become a Schengen Zone member within the year 2020. Cyprus citizens are EU citizens and this entails that holders of a Cyprus passport can freely move in the EU, may live and work in any EU country, can incorporate companies in any EU state.
In 2019, Cypriot citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 172 countries and territories, ranking the Cypriot passport 7th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index.
Cyprus citizens and residents can also benefit from the most favorable tax system is the Union, both for individuals and legal persons. Combined with the numerous double taxation treaties Cyprus tax system becomes even more attractive for high earners. The tax incentives include among others the 48 Double Tax Treaties, the low Corporate Tax (12.5%), the 0% withholding tax on dividends and the fact that Cyprus is an OECD complaint jurisdiction.
Cyprus is also know for the great public educations it offers to its citizens and residents and it's among the top three countries in Europe in terms of the percentage of GDP spent on education. The high level of the higher and tertiary institutions of Cyprus, the low tuition fees and the fact that most programs of the Cyprus universities (public and private) are offered in English have established Cyprus as a regional education and research center.
How to apply
A non-Cypriot citizen may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Program, if he/she fulfils the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5, either personally or through one or various 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 or companies that fulfil the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5.
The applicant should have concluded 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 five years as from the date of the naturalization.
For example, if the applicant applies on the 5th of September 2020 the investments that could be considered for the scheme must have been concluded not before the 6th of September 2017.
The applicant may replace his/her investment within this five-year period provided that he/she has received an approval by the Ministry of Finance.
A. Types of Investment
Α.1 Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation:
(a) The applicant must donate at least €75.000 (seventy-five thousand) to the Research and Innovation Foundation.
The applicant may donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000 (seventy-five thousand) and this additional amount shall supplement the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria A.2-A.5.
Furthermore, the aforementioned obligation is waived if:
- the applicant invests at least €75.000 (seventy-five thousand) in a certified innovative enterprise (i.e. the enterprise has acquired the pertinent certificate by the Ministry of Finance) or a certified social enterprise; or
- the applicant invests under the criterion A.3 (Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses) of a total amount equal to at least €400.000 (four hundred thousand) in a company whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (excluding constructions), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources.
(b) The applicant must donate at least €75.000 (seventy-five thousand) to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation. The applicant may donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000 (seventy-five thousand) and this additional amount shall supplement the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria A.2-A.5.
Α.2 Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects
The applicant must invest at least €2.000.000 (two 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.
An 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.
Α.3 Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses
The applicant must invest €2.000.000 (two million) to acquire the whole or part of the share capital of companies established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus (including the shipping sector). The invested funds shall be used for the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan.
Α.4 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or Registered Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
The applicant must purchase units of at least €2.000.000 (two million) from alternative investment funds (AIF) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed/registered and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) and whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this Program or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance.
The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations of at least €2,0 million, such as bonds, bills and securities, issued with the approval of the CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of 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, fall under this criterion.
Α.5 Combination of the aforementioned investments
The applicant may choose a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2.000.000 (two million).
B. Terms and Conditions
B.1. Clean Criminal Record: The applicant must have a clean criminal record.
B.2. Not rejected by another European Union Member State: An applicant whose application for citizenship in any other member-state of the European Union has been rejected, is not eligible to apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Program.
B.3. Schengen Visa: The applicant must hold a valid Schengen visa. Third-Country nationals that do not require an entry visa for travelling in European Union are excluded from this obligation.
B.4. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus of at least €500.000 (five hundred thousand) plus V.A.T.In case that the purchase value of the permanent residence in Cyprus exceeds the amount of €500.000 (five hundred thousand), 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. If the applicant has invested €2.000.000 (two million) in housing units on the basis of the criterion A.2 (above), 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 (five hundred thousand) plus VAT.
However, if the applicant has invested in housing units that have already being used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Program, the total amount of the investments, including the privately-owned residence, is at least €2.500.000 (two million five hundred thousand).
B.5. Residence Permit in Cyprus: The applicant should be the holder of a permanent residence permit in the Republic for at least 6 (six) months prior to naturalisation. If the applicant does not hold such a permit the permit will be issued with the submission of the application under the Cyprus Investment Program.
Our firm will provide you with all the required details and documents and will prepare and submit the application for the applicant and his/her dependents. We provide the applicant with a full service, from advising on the appropriate path to drafting the contract for the acquisition of property and the receipt of his/her naturalisation certificate.
Andreas Georghadjis LLC is a registered Citizenship Services Provider by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus with registration No (CIP) 19.