Cyprus Investment Programme Cyprus Citizenship

Mar 6, 2019

In 2013 the Cyprus government established a scheme in an attempt to attract and encourage non-Cypriot individuals to invest in Cyprus, according to which Cyprus citizenship is granted to non-Cypriots, provided that certain financial and other criteria are met.

This scheme has been revised on the 13th of September 2016, establishing new criteria in order to make it more attractive, has been changed again by a Council of Ministers decision on the 21st of May 2018 and has lately been amended again on the 13th of February 2019, some provisions of which take effect on the 26th of February 2019 and some in May 2019.

In general, the application for citizenship must be made on the M127 application and may be founded on one of the following grounds:

  1. Investment of at least €2,000.000 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. Over and above the applicant must own a permanent residence in Cyprus of a purchase price of at least €500.000, plus V.A.T.
  2. Purchase of or participation in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,000.000. Over and above the applicant must own a permanent residence in Cyprus of a purchase price of at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. it is no longer required for Cypriot and European Union employees of the companies, in which investments are to be made, to have resided in Cyprus for 5 years preceding the date of submission of the application.
  3. To have bought units of at least €2,000.000 in Alternative Investment Funds or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF), established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed and supervised by CySec, the investments of which are made in the Republic of Cyprus. The said investments may be made in listed securities, in the secondary market in Cyprus Stock Exchange up to €200.000.

This criterion also covers the investments of €2.000.000 in shares, bonds, etc of Cyprus Businesses or organisations, upon the approval of Cysec, provided that the companies have physical presence and substantial financial activities in the Republic and which relate to financing of investment plans of the said businesses or organizations on the basis of an investment plan.

Over and above the applicant own a permanent residence in Cyprus of a purchase price of at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. unless the investment is in housing units estate and one of the properties, which will be retained for life, is indicated to be the residence of the applicant and has a value of €500.000 plus V.A.T. If, however, the applicant has invested in housing units that have already being used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Programme, the above provision will be in force provided that the total amount of the investments, including the privately-owned residence, is at least €2,5 million.
As from 15th of May 2019, it will also be mandatory to make a donation of €75.000 to Research and Innovation and to Cyprus Land Development Corporation.

There is additionally an option to invest the amount of at least €2.000.000 on a combination of the 3 criteria stated above, excluding government bonds.

All the investments must be made maximum 3 years prior to the filing of the application and must be retained for a period of 5 years after the citizenship is granted, however, with the latest amendments it is allowed to substitute the investment, provided that the Ministry of Finance will approve so.

The applicants must have a residence permit and must hold a Schengen Visa.

The latest amendments have also the effect that if the applicant has made any applications in any other European country for citizenship, and have been rejected, he/she will not be eligible to apply in Cyprus. Applicants are required to file a declaration to this effect, together with the application.

With the filing of the application, the applicant must pay the amount of €2.000 and upon the approval of the application the amount of €5.000.

As part of the ongoing efforts of the government to further encourage and investments in Cyprus, while ensuring that all necessary checks are made, the Council of Ministers has establised a Committee for Supervision and Control of the Programme and has also imposed a condition that submission of citizenship applications will be made exclusively by Service Providers, who have been registered with the Registry of Providers of Services for the Cyprus Investment Programme, with effect from 1.8.2018. There are certain criteria that enable the registration of service providers, in order to ensure that the correct procedures are followed and applied. ANDREAS V. ZACHARIOU & CO LLC is a member of the Registry of Service Providers for the Cyprus Investment Programme, with Registration Number 24.

Another important aspect of the program, is the limitation of 700 applications per annum, thus making it crucial for investors, who wish to make use of Cyprus Investment Programme, to make their plans accordingly, in order to submit their applications timely