Cyprus Citizenship

CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT – NEW CRITERIA 13/9/2016

The Council of Ministers approved on 13/9/2016 the new criteria of obtaining Cypriot Citizenship by investment, based on article 111A, subsection 2 of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002 -2016.

A non – Cypriot citizen who meets one of the criteria explained below either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/ she participates as a shareholder – proportionally based on the percentage of participation, or through investments that his/her spouse made or investments that were made jointly with his/her spouse or as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that meets one of economic criteria (A), may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by exception.

A high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenue of at least €100,000 for a three year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.

It is still required that 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.

In the case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been ascertained that any condition is being circumvented, the Naturalization may be revoked.

Α. CRITERIA

Α.1 Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects: The applicant must have made an investment of at least € 2,0 million, instead of the previous 5, 0 million required, 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).

The said requirement also includes plots of developable land as long as the application contains an investment plan to develop it. Land which is situated on non -developable areas are not acceptable.

Α.2 Purchase or incorporation of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations: The applicant must have purchased, incorporated or participated in organisations or companies that have activities in Cyprus of at least €2,0 million as opposed to the previous 5,0 million. It is noted that the investment funds must be channeled towards the financing of investment plans in Cyprus only.

Furthermore, the organisations or companies must have a physical presence in Cyprus, with substantial activity and operations and must employ at least 5 Cypriot citizens or EU citizens. The number of employees increases if there are more applicants for the same investment. Also, the employees must have been legally and continuously residents of Cyprus for the immediate previous 5 years.

Α.3 Investment in Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisations which are licensed by CySEC: The applicants must have invested at least 2,0 million, instead of the previous 5,0 million, in investment funds licensed by CySEC which are controlled by it and which operate only in Cyprus in investments which are compatible with the new criteria or are approved by the Finance Minister.

The applicant must have purchased financial assets (bonds/securities/debentures which have been issued in Cyprus with the approval of CySEC) of at least €2,0 million, instead of 5,0 million of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations which have a real physical presence in Cyprus with real activity and which concern the financing of investments in Cyprus only based on an investment plan.

It is noted that the purchase of assets of any Investment fund by another investment funds is not acceptable.

Α.4 Combination of the aforementioned criteria: The applicant is required to have a combination of the above amounting to at least €2,0 million, instead of the previous 5,0 million. Under this criterion, the applicant can purchase government bonds of €500,000 which are issued by the government of Cyprus as long as he/she keeps the bonds for a period of 3 years.

**The previous criteria of depositing 5,0 million is a Cypriot bank or of applicants who had incurred an impairment in deposits in Laiki Bank amounting to a total of at least €3,0 million have been removed.

B. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1. Clean Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the European Union.

2. Permanent Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must 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.

It is noted that members of the same family, which apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000 per each applicant.

If the value of the permanent residence supersedes the amount of €500,000 then the extra amount can be used to complete the investment amount of the aforementioned criteria.

Furthermore, if the applicant made an investment under criterion A1 above then there will be no required to purchase a residential property so long as one of the one of the residential buildings of the investment have a value of €500,000 plus VAT and so long as he /she will keep the permanent property for life.

3. Cyprus Residency: The applicant must have acquired a residency permit in Cyprus based on article 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Laws or apply simultaneously with the application for citizenship.

C. SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS

Checklist of documents to be submitted along with the application form and the letter by the applicant or by the representative of the applicant, in which the investment and criterion, under which the application is submitted, are briefly explained.

 

APPLICANT’S PERSONAL DOCUMENTS

  • Application Form M127 fully completed and signed before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer
  • Birth Certificate
  • True Copy of passport
  • Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of
  • residence (if different)
  • Marriage Certificate/ Civil Partnership Certificate
  • Copies of advertisements in a daily newspaper two consecutive posts
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of Residence Permit in the Republic of Cyprus
  • Application of a High Ranking Executive:
  • Copy of the employment contract
  • Receipt from the Department of Inland Revenue

 

RESIDENCE IN THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS

  • Contract of Sale.
  • Title Deeds or Proof of Registration of the contract with the Land Registry
  • Proof of payment of the agreed purchase price
  • Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company

 

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

  • Certificate of Registration of the company/ companies by the Registrar of Companies
  • Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies or certificates evidencing that the applicant is the beneficiary owner of the company/ companies
  • Audited accounts of the company (or companies) for the last three years preceding the year of the application

Α.1 Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects

  • Contract of Sale
  • Title Deeds or Proof of Registration of the contract with the Land Registry
  • Proofs of payment of the agreed purchase price
  • Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company
  • Investment Plan for the development of the purchased land, if the investment involves the purchase of land under development

Α.2 Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses

  • Contract of Sale
  • Proof of payment of the agreed purchase price
  • Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies
  • Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization
  • Specific investment plan
  • Copies of the employment contracts of the Cypriot or European Union citizens employed by the company in which the applicant has invested
  • Confirmation from the Social Insurance Department as to the insurable income of the Cypriot or European Union citizens employed in the company
  • Copy of the Social Insurance Contributions for every Cypriot or European Union citizen employee
  • Registration Certificate (MEU1) or Permanent Registration Certificate of Union Citizen (MEU3) for employees that are European Union citizens

Α.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec

  • Title/Titles and other relevant documents of the financial assets / units purchased
  • Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization
  • Specific investment plan
  • Confirmation by the CySec

Α.4 Combination of Investments – Investment in government bonds

  • Proof from the Public Debt Management Office for the purchase of special government bonds
  • Copy of the wire transfer into a bank account of the Treasury of the Republic of Cyprus

Family members:

SPOUSE/PARTNER

  • Completed “Check List of Investors Family Members Application Documents” (is located on the Ministry of Interior’ website)
  • Application Form M127 fully completed and signed before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer
  • Birth Certificate
  • True Copy of passport
  • Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if different)
  • Marriage Certificate or Civil Partnership Certificate
  • Copies of advertisements in a daily newspaper two consecutive posts
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of Residence Permit in the Republic of Cyprus. If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalization.

ADULT CHILDREN OF THE INVESTOR

  • Completed “Check List of Investors Family Members Application Documents” (is located on the Ministry of Interior’ website)
  • Application Form M127 fully completed and signed before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer
  • Copy of the investor’s Naturalization certificate
  • Copy of the Investor’s Cypriot passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • True Copy of passport
  • Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if different)
  • Marriage Certificate or Civil Partnership Certificate (if applicable)
  • Copies of advertisements in a daily newspaper two consecutive posts
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of Residence Permit in the Republic of Cyprus. If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of 3 Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalization.
  • Copy of undergraduate degree (if the applicant is studying for a postgraduate degree)
  • Certificate of attendance by an academic institution (original) Or Medical Certificate attesting the disability (Original)

PARENTS OF THE INVESTOR

  • Completed “Check List of Investors Family Members Application Documents” (is located on the Ministry of Interior’ website)
  • Application Form M127 fully completed and signed before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer
  • Copy of the investor’s Naturalization certificate
  • Copy of the Investor’s Cypriot passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • True Copy of passport
  • Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if different)
  • Marriage Certificate or Civil Partnership Certificate
  • Copies of advertisements in a daily newspaper two consecutive posts
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of Residence Permit in the Republic of Cyprus. If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalization.
  • Documents concerning the acquisition of the permanent residential property:
  • Contract of Sale
  • Title Deeds or Proof of Registration of the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department
  • Proof of payment of the agreed purchase price
  • Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company

D. EXAMINATION PROCEDURE OF AN APPLICATION

Once the application is submitted the examination process begins. First of all, the documents relating to the business activities and investments of the applicant in Cyprus are sent to the Ministry of Finance for evaluation and views on whether the applicant indeed meets any of the criteria established by the Council of Ministers. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Interior investigates whether the applicant meets the other conditions of the abovementioned Decision of the Council of Ministers. If the applicant meets the Criteria and Conditions of the Decision, the Minister of Interior presents the case to the Council of Ministers for final decision. Provided that the application is dully submitted and accompanied by all the necessary supporting documents and the investor meets the criteria and conditions of the scheme, the time frame for the completion of the process is approximately 3 (three )months. It should be noted that the application submission date is the date on which the submission fees were paid that is noted on the receipt issued by the Cashier’s Office of the Ministry.

Once the application is approved, the applicant will be able to take all actions for the acquisition of the Citizenship and the issue of a Cypriot passport. The procedure for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship will be completed, provided that the applicant holds a residence permit for a period of at least 6 (six) months. If the applicant does not hold a residence permit for the aforementioned time period, he/she will need to wait until the six month period is completed. Afterwards, the Civil Registry and Migration Department issues the Certificate of Naturalization, following payment of the amount of €5.000 that constitutes the Naturalization Certificate issuing fee. Subsequently, the applicant will need to give the Oath of Faith to the Cypriot Republic before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer of the Republic of Cyprus. Once this procedure is completed the applicant will be able to acquire a Cypriot passport and Identity Card.