It has now become quite easy for people from around the world to become Cypriot citizens, by investing in real estate in accordance with the ‘Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program and obtain Cyprus Citizenship by investment.
Advantages of Cypriot Citizenship
Over the last years, Cyprus has become a popular destination, not only for seasonal holidays but also as a choice of permanent residence and business activities. Foreigners are attracted by the warm weather and the high quality of life the island has to offer and so decide to transfer their life there. It has now become quite easy for people from around the world to become Cypriot citizens, by investing in real estate in accordance with the ‘Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program’.
Obtaining the Cypriot Citizenship brings a lot of benefits, such as the right to move around in European countries freely, in order to study, work, or simply enjoy some vacations. Furthermore, as a European citizen, people are entitled to all the rights therein, while also giving citizenship to their whole family, including the parents, the spouse and any dependent children, either under 18 years old or financially dependent children up to 28 years old. Dual citizenship is allowed in Cyprus, so people wishing to obtain it can do so without denying their own nationality. This move also has great benefits in the corporate world, as the tax rates in the country are comparatively low and the business opportunities in various fields keep growing each year.
The ‘Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program’ is one of the fastest and simplest investor citizenship programs in Europe and it is regulated by the Civil Registry Laws 2002-2015, particularly the Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception. People wishing to live in Cyprus can obtain permanent residence by initially investing just €300,000 in real estate. The applicants are granted a visa for a residence permit within 2 months. After they have already made the investment, they can start the application process for Cyprus Citizenship.
The Property Investments scheme was created for the purposes of attracting people of high income to transfer their residence and business activities in the country. The regulations for the purposes of obtaining the Cypriot Citizenship have undergone several changes in February 2019. According to the Scheme, non-Cypriot citizens who meet the following economic criteria, either personally or through a company in which they participate as shareholders, in proportion to their holding or through the investments they made, can apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through the naturalization by Exception.
- Donations of €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation and Cyprus Land Development Corporation
- Investment of €2,000,000 on real estate
- Purchase, creation or participation in Cypriot business and companies by an investment of at least €2,000,000
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds of at least €2,000,000
- A combination of the above-mentioned investments (the sum of the investments must reach the €2,000,000)
Michael Chambers and Co. LLC Law Team of Cyprus lawyers are experienced lawyers that will guide you through the process of application form in a timely and effective manner.
After the amendments of the relevant law, the regulations specify that the minimum investment requirements for residential properties for the purposes of obtaining the local citizenship must reach the amount of €2,000,000 plus €65,000 expenses and 19% VAT on the value of the land. A portion of the VAT amount will be paid back to the applicant within approximately one year. The additional €65,000 the applicant must pay, include government fees, legal fees, and cost of new Cyprus Company and all of the pocket expenses. Similarly, the amount of investments in other sectors must reach the amount of €2,500,000 plus the amounts mentioned above. In regards to applications which include a resale property used for a previous application by another applicant, the respective amount must add up to €2,500,000.
The Cyprus Citizenship will be given to the applicant within 6 months after the application, and the land will be transferred at the Land Registry in the name of the applicant or their company. Within the next 5 years from the obtainment of citizenship, the investor can either sell the property or rent it out, provided that they keep a personal residence property worth €500,000.
Further changes to the regulations state that the investments of the applicants must be maintained for 5 years from the date of naturalization, instead of 3 years, and such they can only qualify if there is a planning permit secured beforehand. During this 5-year period, the investor can change the investment after the approval of such change by the Ministry of Finance. Lastly, applicants must be in possession of a residence permit in Cyprus for at least 6 months prior to the naturalization as a Cypriot citizen.
It is now mandatory to donate contributions of €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation. An equivalent amount of €75,000 must also be donated to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation, in order to have affordable housing. In case the applicant wishes to make larger contributions than the required ones, then the additional amount will be calculated with the sum of the investment amount.
The Cyprus Council of Ministers has imposed a limitation of 700 applications per year for this procedure. In case an applicant was rejected when applied for the acquisition of a Citizenship in any other Member State of the European Union, then this person will not be entitled to acquire the Cypriot Citizenship within the framework of the Cyprus Investment Programme.
Terms and Conditions
- Clean Criminal Record: The applicants must have a clean criminal record and their name must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within Europe, have been frozen as the results of sanctions.
- Schengen Visa: All applicants must have a Schengen visa, excluding third-country nationals and their families, who do not require an entry visa for travelling in an EU member state.
- Permanent residence in Cyprus: All applicants must be in possession of a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be above €500,000.
- Residence Permit in Cyprus: Prior to the naturalization process, the applicant must have a residence permit for at least 6 months. In case there is no permit, the applicant can apply for an immigration permit, based on the Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the naturalization applicant.
In making the application for Naturalization, the applicants must submit the fee of €2,000 to the Ministry of Interior. The applicants must demonstrate proof of the 4 conditions mentioned above and also the economic conditions by submitting the relevant documents, such as the certificate of clean criminal record, a copy of a valid Schengen visa, a marriage certificate, the birth certificate, property titles, proof of payment to the donation organizations and the purchase and any other document required, depending on the individual case.
Moving to Cyprus is a wise decision to make, both in terms of high quality of life and business flourishment.
Cyprus citizenship fees
In a Summary the cost of the Cyprus Investment Program is 2m euros plus the donation of €150.000. The above cost does not include the following government fees for the citizenship application. To conclude the government fees are as follows for the each applicant.:
|Applicant||Investor||Investor’s spouse||Adult children & parents (each)||Minor child|
|CIP application submission fee||€2000||€2000||€2000||€80|
|Certificate Issuance fee||€5000||€5000||€5000|
1. Curriculum Vitae (CV) for each of the applications such as the investor, his-her spouse & adult children.
2. Birth Certificate for the all applicants, including spouse & children (Provide them in official and certified translation*).
3. Criminal Record Certificate for the investor, spouse & adult children from the country of origin and the country of residence (if the applicants are staying in a different country of origin) (Provide the documents in official and certified translation*).
4. Marriage Certificate (Provide the document in official and certified translation*).
5. 2 Passport size photos for each family member.
6. Adult Children – Certificate of attendance by an academic institution (Please provide an original document).
7. Due Diligence Report issued through an internationally accepted database.
The documents with asterisk (*) require to be translated in English and bear the «APOSTILLE» Stamp. Instead they can be certified by the Ministry of foreign affairs of the country that will issue them and also by the Cyprus Embassy of that country and the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Cyprus.
The translation should be done by either the Press and Information Office or by a Consular Authority of the issuing country or by a governmental department/service of the issuing country.
Even after the amendments on the law regulating the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment scheme, this method is often used by people who wish to obtain citizenship on the island. The ease and comfort the procedure of investment entails is a great advantage to people who desire to start a new life in Cyprus.