Citizenship and Residency

Cyprus Investment Programme

The Cyprus Investment Programme, based on subsection (2) in Section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002 to 2019, was approved by the Cyprus Council of Ministers on the 13 September 2016, and subsequently amended in May 2018 and February 2019. The latest amendments to the CIP are effective on 15 May 2019 onwards, and are reflected in this memo for your ease of reference.

The Cyprus government has formulated an investment programme aimed at high net worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. This allows the successful applicant and their family to hold a Cypriot passport and enjoy all the benefits of a Cypriot National, subject to making necessary investments and complying with specific conditions. Cyprus has been a member of the EU since 2004.

The Cypriot immigration policy and legal framework now enable Non-EU and EU applicants to obtain Cypriot citizenship in approximately 6 months. There are a number of reasons the CIP may now be considered to be the most attractive programme in Europe, including:

  1. No requirement for applicants to live on the island prior, during or after the application process, but they are required to hold a Residency Permit for at least 6 months.
  2. Application process takes approximately 6 months.
  3. Simple and straightforward application process with no medical testing and no language

Legal framework:

The Cyprus Investment Programme, based on subsection (2) in Section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002 to 2019, was approved by the Cyprus Council of Ministers on the 13 September 2016, and subsequently amended in May 2018 and February 2019. The latest amendments to the CIP are effective on 15 May 2019 onwards, and are reflected in this memo for your ease of reference.

The Cyprus government has formulated an investment programme aimed at high net worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. This allows the successful applicant and their family to hold a Cypriot passport and enjoy all the benefits of a Cypriot National, subject to making necessary investments and complying with specific conditions. Cyprus has been a member of the EU since 2004.

 

The eligibility criteria under the Cyprus Investment Programme are as follows:

  1. Main applicant and spouse i.e. husband and wife.
  2. Children up to and including the age of 17.
  3. “Adult children” between the ages of 18 to 28

a. Subject to their application being reviewed by the Council of Ministers prior to their 29th birthday; and

b. Provided they are students working towards either a first university degree, or a first master’s degree.

c. Parents of the main applicant may be included in the same application, provided an additional investment of €500,000 (plus VAT if applicable), is made in residential property in Cyprus.

 

Main advantages of being a Cypriot Citizen:

  1. Free Movement of Capital
  2. Free Movement of Goods
  3. Free Movement of People
  4. Free Movement of Services
  5. Attractive Tax System
  6. High standard of living
  7. Dual Citizenship
  8. Visa Free Travel
  9. No requirement to live in Cyprus

CIP Summary of the Investment Options under the Cyprus Investment Programme:

A five year investment of €2,000,000 non-inclusive of VAT in residential real estate situated in Cyprus (required investment increased by € 500,000 if the property was previously used by another applicant).
The investment in residential real estate must be retained for a minimum period of 5 years, after which point the overall investment in real estate can be reduced to a minimum of €500,000, non-inclusive of VAT (if any) in residential property which must be held indefinitely. Examples of acceptable investment(s) under this option include, amongst others, the following, all values below are quoted before VAT (if any):

First option: You can purchase a villa for €1.5 million, and one apartment for €500,000 and you can sell the villa in 5 years’ time.

Second option: You can purchase a villa for €2,000,000 million and sell it in 5 years’ time, but simultaneously purchase one residential property for a minimum amount of €500,000. If two residential properties are acquired instead of one, then certain conditions may apply.

Third option: You can purchase a portfolio of villas/apartments and sell them in 5 years’ time, keeping one residential property purchased for a minimum amount of €500,000. If two residential properties are finally retained instead of one, then certain conditions may apply.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The parents of the main investor can also be included within the same application, subject to approval of the main applicant, with an additional investment of €500,000 (non-inclusive of VAT, if any) in residential property.

In addition to the above criteria, the following donations are obligatory under the CIP:

  1. €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation; and
  2. €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation, unless the applicant invests a minimum of €75,000 in a certified innovative enterprise (i.e. an enterprise that had acquired the relevant certificate by the Ministry of Finance).

For the avoidance of doubt, the obligatory donation to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation will be applicable in all cases, without the possibility for exemption.

CIP timeline

Normally it takes approximately 6 months for the main applicant and spouse.

NOTE: There is no requirement to live in Cyprus before, during, or after the CIP application.