A foreigner without Cypriot roots can become a Cypriot citizen by using one of the three methods listed below:
- Under the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program.
- By marrying a Cypriot citizen and having lived in this marriage for at least 3 years.
- By naturalization, that is, having legally lived in Cyprus for at least 7 years or in the event that a foreigner is a parent of a Cypriot citizen – at least 5 years.
Our company helps its clients in solving the issue of acquiring Cypriot citizenship according to the schemes (1) and (3), accompanying them at all the stages of this process: starting from the collection and legal examination of the documents and ending with obtaining a passport.
Acquisition of Cypriot Citizenship by Investments
FROM NOVEMBER 1, 2020 THE PROGRAM IS SUSPENDED
The legislation under which the Cypriot government grants citizenship by investment is called Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus and is legally based on the provisions of subparagraph (2) of section 111А of the Naturalization Law dated 2002-2013.
In accordance with this program, the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship can be achieved in various investment ways with a minimum investment amount of €2.5 million.
Main investment options offered to the interested applicants:
- Investment in the real estate (residential buildings, retail premises, offices, hotels, warehouses, apartment complexes) or in the infrastructure development projects, like residential or commercial developments, developments in the field of tourism or other infrastructure, investment in the transport sector (subject to certain criteria) with a minimum amount of €2 million. This criterion excludes the acquisition of land in zero growth zones.
- Investment with a minimum amount of €2 million in the Alternative Investment Funds established in Cyprus, whose investments are made exclusively on the island. The investment must have duration of at least 5 years from the date of obtaining Cypriot citizenship. This criterion also includes the acquisition of financial assets of Cypriot companies (like bonds, bills and shares) with a minimum value of €2 million.
Establishment of a new company, buyout or joint investment in the enterprise or the companies established and operating in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, with a minimum investment of €2 million. This category contains two additional criteria:
- The company must have a physical presence in Cyprus with significant economic activity.
- Compulsory employment in a company of at least 5 citizens of Cyprus or of the European Union. The minimum number of workers increases if there is more than one applicant investing in the same enterprise or a company.
Combining the above investments, provided that the total investment is at least € 2 million. As part of the combination, the investor can purchase special government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus for the amount up to €500,000 directly from the primary market, provided that the investor retains them at his disposal for at least five (5) years from the date of the acquisition of the citizenship.
Conditions and rules for obtaining the citizenship:
- A clean criminal record.
- A compulsory non-refundable minimum contribution in the amount of €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Fund to promote the creation of innovative enterprises. The investor can contribute to the Fund in excess of €75,000, and the excess amount will be considered as an addition to the main investment. This obligation can be waived under certain conditions, that is, when the investor must invest in an innovative business (which has received a corresponding certificate from the Ministry of Finance) or in a certified social company. A compulsory donation is also canceled if the applicant has made an investment according to the criterion “Purchase or establishment or participation in Cypriot companies or enterprises” in the amount of at least 20% of the investment value of the required amount (i.e. €400,000) in the companies operating in the primary economic sector or in the secondary sector of the economy, or in one of the fields of science and technology, education and health.
- A compulsory non-refundable contribution in the amount of €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation Fund in order to contribute to a comprehensive housing policy and, first of all, for the implementation of affordable housing projects for Cypriot citizens. The investor can contribute to the Fund in excess of €75,000, and the excess amount will be considered as an addition to the main investment.
- Permanent own accommodation in Cyprus. The cost of the accommodation should be at least €500,000 plus VAT. If the cost exceeds this amount, then part of the cost can be used to replenish the required investment. Likewise, if the applicant has invested in the housing units based on the above criterion, there is no need to purchase another permanent accommodation of his own, provided that at least € 500,000 has been invested and the applicant retains the ownership for life.
- In cases where investments are related to the purchase of the real estate or property, as well as in the case of permanent home ownership, planning permission, a certificate of completion of construction and a waiver of bank assistance will be required.
- An applicant who has applied for the citizenship in any other member state of the European Union and his application has been rejected is not eligible for obtaining Cypriot citizenship under the Cyprus Investment Program.
- The applicant must have a Schengen visa to be able to apply for the naturalization in Cyprus.
- Accommodation in Cyprus. The applicant must have a residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus (the right to reside in Cyprus legally) for at least six (6) months prior to the naturalization as a Cypriot citizen. If there is no residence permit, the applicant can apply for the immigration permit along with the application for the naturalization. The same applies to the investor’s adult family members who will apply for the naturalization.
- The applicant is required to maintain the required level of investment for at least 5 years from the date of obtaining the citizenship.
Obtaining Cypriot citizenship by naturalization
In addition to the above mentioned strict economic conditions applicants can meet the minimum criteria for the citizenship while legally residing in Cyprus, subject to the following conditions:
An applicant who has resided in Cyprus for at least 7 years is eligible for the citizenship, provided that during this period he has lived in the Republic of Cyprus for at least 1460 days (4 years).
An applicant who has worked in Cyprus is eligible for the citizenship, provided that during this period he has worked in the Republic of Cyprus for at least 2190 days (6 years).
An individual who is a parent of a Cypriot citizen and has legally resided in Cyprus for at least 5 years is also eligible to obtain Cypriot citizenship.
An additional condition when applying for the citizenship by naturalization is that the applicant must be on the island for 12 consecutive months before applying.