In its ongoing efforts to attract foreign direct investment into the country and drive economic growth, the Cyprus government has implemented several strategic policies and initiatives, one being its highly successful Cyprus Investment Programme. The programme enables non-Cypriot citizens to apply for Cyprus citizenship subject to meeting certain economic criteria.
On the basis of the Programme, a non-Cypriot citizen may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception, if he/she fulfils the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5, either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/she participates as a shareholder – in proportion to his/her holding percentage, or through investments done by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that fulfils the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5.
Moreover, a high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues of at least €100,000 over a three-year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.
The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the 3 (three) years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least 5 (five) years as from the date of the naturalization. It is understood that the investor may replace the investment during the said five-year period, provided that he/she has obtained beforehand an approval by the Ministry of Finance.
(a) The applicant must have donated at least €75.000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation. It is noted that if the applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000, this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria A.2-A.5.
Furthermore, the aforementioned obligation is lifted, if the applicant has invested at least €75.000 in a certified innovative enterprise (i.e. an enterprise that had acquired the relevant certificate by the Ministry of Finance) or a certified social enterprise.
In addition, the obligation is lifted, if the applicant has made an investment under the criterion A.3 (Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses) of a total amount equal to the 20% of the required investment amount (i.e. €400.000) of the abovementioned criterion A.3 in a company whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (excluding constructions), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources.
(b) The applicant must have donated at least €75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing, but also for the materialization of other housing schemes/measures. It is noted that if the applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000, this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria A.2-A.5.
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.
A purchase or participation in companies or organizations established and operating in Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2m. The invested funds shall be channelled towards the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan. Moreover, investments in the shipping sector are eligible on the basis of measurable criteria that will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry.
The applications shall be evaluated to verify that the companies or organizations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least 5 (five) Cypriot citizens or citizens of European Union member-states. The minimum number of employees shall increase, if more than one applicant invests simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same business or company.
For more information, please see here.
The spouse/ and other family members of the principle applicant may obtain Cyprus citizenship provided they meet the required economic criteria. Those eligible are as follows:
For more information regarding the Cyprus Investment Programme, please see here.
Third country nationals may also pursue the route of applying for a residence permit in Cyprus in pursuance of the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
In accordance with the Cyprus government, to apply, the following economic criteria require to be met:
The applicant must prove that they have deposited no less than €30k into an account in Cyprus, which must remain in the account for at least three years and which must be transferred into the account from abroad. Proof of transfer from abroad must be provided.
The applicant must be able to prove that they have an annual income of no less than €30k which must increase by €5k for every dependent person of their family (spouse and children) and by €8k for every dependent parent (or parent-in-law). The source of income should come from abroad.
The purchase of a real estate with a market value of no less than €300k (excluding VAT). The applicant must show proof of payment of at least €200k (excluding VAT) and must submit, together with the application, title deeds or a sale contract in his/her name and/or his/her spouse, which has been officially filed at the Department of Lands and Surveys.