On the basis of section 111A (2) of the Civil Registry Laws 2002-2019, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has established and subsequently revised a “Cyprus Investment Scheme” (CIS).
This scheme contains the following 4 requirements:
Purchase of a residence in the Republic of Cyprus (Cyprus) for an amount of at least EUR 500,000 excluding VAT.
The investor is obligated to retain this residence for life. This does not prohibit the investor from selling the residence and immediately purchasing another;
Donation of at least EUR 75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation and EUR 75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation. The funds are used for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing and for the materialization of other housing schemes/measures.
The former donation can be replaced by an investment of at least EUR 75.000 in a certified innovative enterprise, which has acquired the relevant certificate by the Ministry of Finance, or a certified social enterprise or by an investment of at least EUR 400,000 in a company whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (construction companies are excluded), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources.
Investment of an amount of EUR 2 million in one of the following options:
- Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects. If the investor chooses to invest solely in residential real estate, the investment amount is reduced from EUR 2 million to EUR 1,5 million (the reduction is not applicable if any of the residential real estate was previously used under the scheme);
- Purchase/establishment/participation in Cypriot companies or businesses, including the shipping sector on the basis of measurable criteria which will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry;
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds//Registered Alternative Investment Funds/financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission;
- Combination of the aforementioned investments.
The investor is obligated to retain the investment under this requirement for 5 years. This does not prohibit the investor from disposing of the investment and immediately making another investment after approval from the Ministry of Finance.
Provision of the following documents of the investor and the spouse (additional documents are requested from the investor’s family):
- True copy of the passport;
- Copy of a valid Schengen Visa;
- Translated and original duly legalized birth certificate;
- Translated and original duly legalized clean criminal record from the country of origin and the country of residence. This document should not be older than 3 months at the time of filing the application;
- Translated and original legalized marriage certificate/civil partnership certificate;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- Two passport sized photographs;
- Copies of advertisements in a daily newspaper for two consecutive days (this will be handled by your law firm);
- Signed M127 form before the Embassy of Cyprus abroad or the District Court of Cyprus (this form will be provided to you by your law firm);
- Original self-Declaration form (this form will be provided to you by your law firm);
- Declaration concerning any citizenship applications which have been submitted in any other member-state(s) of the European Union signed before the Embassy of Cyprus abroad or the District Court of Cyprus (this form will be provided to you by your law firm);
- Due diligence report (this will be handled by your law firm).
The documents should be translated by a governmental department/authority of the issuing country and legalized by Apostille, in the event that the issuing country has signed The Hague Convention. In the event that the issuing country has not signed The Hague Convention, the documents should be duly legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country, the Embassy of Cyprus in the issuing country and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus.
The first, second and third requirement may be fulfilled either personally by the investor or through a company in which the investor is a shareholder, in proportion to the investor’s shareholdings percentage.
Moreover, a high-ranking senior manager of a company which has met the second requirement may apply for the CIS Scheme if:
- This high-ranking senior manager receives remuneration which generates tax revenues of at least EUR 100,000 for Cyprus; and
- This tax has been paid or pre-paid; and
- This high-ranking senior manager has met the first requirement.
In this case the following additional documents should be provided:
- Copy of the employment contract;
- Receipt from the Department of Inland Revenue;
- Certificate of registration and shareholders of the company;
- Audited accounts for the last three years preceding the application.
Furthermore, the investor, the investor’s spouse and the investor’s adult children will need to obtain a Permanent Residence Permit (PRP) on the basis of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law.
Note that this requirement does not require the investor or the investor’s family to:
- Learn the language;
- Take any exams.
It does however, require the investor and the investor’s spouse to travel to Cyprus so as to provide their biometrics (digital photographs, signature and fingerprint) for the issuance of this PRP as these cannot be obtained by an Embassy of Cyprus abroad for this purpose.
Eligible persons under the CIS are:
- Any non-Cypriot investor (and family member of such), whose name is not included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the European Union, and whose application for citizenship in any other EU member-state has not been rejected;
- The investor’s spouse;
- The investor’s minor children;
- The investor’s adult children up to the age of 28 provided that these children are financially dependent on the investor and are either children with severe physical or mental disability that renders them unable to work or are students enrolled in a first bachelor, first master or first diploma. Adult children who are married are also included provided that they can evidence that they are financially supported by the investor instead of their spouse;
- The investor’s parents, provided that they have also fulfilled the first requirement.
The entire CIS procedure from filling the CIS application until receipt of the passport by the investor and the investor’s spouse will take approximately 6 months. The applications of the minor and adult dependants (including the investor’s parents) of the investor are filed after the issuance of the passport to the investor and the investor’s spouse.
Government fees for each adult application are approximately EUR 7,738.
Lastly, it is important to note that:
- Multiple citizenship is not prohibited under the laws of Cyprus;
- Non-Cypriots who have acquired citizenship through CIS, their spouse and their children are exempted from military service. It is advisable to obtain an official exemption in order to avoid inconvenience.
- The Council of Ministers has the discretionary power to reject an application even if all necessary documentation has been submitted;
- The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Interior may request any additional documentation and information at any stage;
- In the event that after an inspection by the relevant authorities it has been established that any of the abovementioned requirements has been breached, the naturalization may be revoked.