1.What is the Cyprus Investment Programme?
The Cyprus government introduced the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme in order to inspire foreign investors and people of the business world to initiate their business and investment plans in Cyprus. The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme provides investors and their families the opportunity to obtain Cyprus passports
2.Which other family members are entitled to obtain Cypriot citizenship along with the investor/applicant?
The Cyprus Investment Programme allows for the dependents of the applicant to also obtain the Cypriot citizenship. Under the Investment Programme, the following are eligible dependents:
a) The spouse / partner of the applicant
- submission of the spouse’s or partner’s application along with the application of the investor to acquire the Cypriot citizenship simultaneously
b) Children under the age of 18
- submitted after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship and provided that the other parent consents to the grant of the citizenship
c) Adult children up to the age of 28 who are full-time students and financially dependent on the principal applicant
- excludes individuals who are studying for the acquisition of a professional qualification (e.g. chartered accountants or barrister)
d) Adult children with severe physical or mental disability that renders them unable to work.
- application can be submitted after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship
e) The investor’s parents are entitled to apply for citizenship provided if:
i.they hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. or
ii.the investor and his/her parents, may collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property is at least €1.000.000, plus V.A.T.
- Application can be submitted after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship
3.What steps the investor should follow prior the submission of the application?
a) The applicant must proceed to the investments and purchase a residence in Cyprus with a minimum value of €500,000 and
b) The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for a period of at least 6 (six) months or
c) If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit can apply for an immigration permit, simultaneously with the application for naturalization.
4.How long does it take, considering the examination process, to obtain citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Programme?
Once the application is submitted, the examination by the authorities and the issuance of the citizenship/passport may take from six (6) to twelve (12) months to be processed.
5.What does it mean by: “The applicant should have concluded the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years since the date of the Naturalization?”
The investor, in order to apply for citizenship under the Investment scheme, must have completed the investment during the three years prior the submission date of the application. For example, if the applicant submits an application on 5th October 2020, the investment must have been completed through the period from 5th October 2017 to 5th October 2020.
Additionally, the investor is required to maintain the investment for at least three years following the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship. The three-year period commences on the date that the certificate of naturalization is issued, given that the investor has sworn before the Court Registrar his oath of allegiance to the Republic of Cyprus.
6.What kind of investment is required?
In general, an investment of €2m is required. The investor must own a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus, purchased for at least €500.000.
7.There are various options for investing, and an applicant may choose one of the following:
- Investment of at least €2m, for the purchase or participation in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2m, which needs to be also maintained for three years;
- Investment of at least €2m 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.
- Investment of at least €2m for the acquisition of units from alternative investment funds (AIF) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus
Note: The applicant may proceed with a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2m
8.The applicant, prior the date of application, already owns a residential property in Cyprus. Is he/she still required to purchase an additional property?
In case the existing property is worth of at least €500,000, then the applicant is not required to purchase any additional property. In case the value of the existing property is less than €500,000, then the applicant must acquire an additional residential property.
9.If there is a difference between the market value and the purchase value of a property, which amount is taken into consideration for the examination of the application?
The purchase value of the property.
10.Can the investor sell his/her privately-owned residence and purchase a different one of the same or higher purchase price?
Yes, but only if the investor buys a different residence of an equal or a higher purchase value.
11.Could a real estate sold for a second time be considered as an investment for the purposes of the Investment Programme?
According to the contents of the Council of Ministers’ Decision, the eligible investment is not limited to new properties.
12.Does the applicant need to reside in Cyprus prior the acquisition of the Cypriot Citizenship through the Investment Programme?
No requirement of minimum duration of physical residency applies prior the approval of the Cypriot passport application. It is compulsory for applicants to visit Cyprus once, prior the issuance of the passport, in order for the relevant authorities to be able to obtain Biometrics of the applicants and also for the applicant to be able to receive/issue a permanent residency permit.
13.Is the applicant required to reside in Cyprus after he/she has acquired citizenship in order to retain it?
14.Does the Cyprus Investment Programme expire?
15.What are the benefits of a Cypriot Passport under the Cyprus Investment Programme?
- The Programme provides access to 171 visa-free destinations.
- Once acquired, it is valid for life and is passed on to spouse and dependent children
- The process lasts from 6 to 12 months
- A Cyprus passport holder is also a holder of a European Union passport