Cyprus Investment Programme
Cyprus is a modern, cosmopolitan, transparent business centre offering opportunities for investment across a wide range of sectors.
One of the main objectives of the economic policy of the Republic of Cyprus is to further encourage Foreign Direct Investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus. Key factors that make Cyprus an attractive destination for investment, is the highly specialized human capital, the reliable legislative and regulatory framework, the attractive and transparent tax regime, and the high quality life prevailing in the island country. Within this framework and taking into account the strong investor interest, the Government of Cyprus has established the “Cyprus Investment Programme”. On the basis of the Programme, a non-Cypriot citizen, who meets specific economic criteria may apply for the acquisition of the Cyprus citizenship through naturalization by exception. Before he can obtain the Cyprus Passport, he must hold a valid Residence Permit of the Republic of Cyprus for a minimum period of six months.
Key provisions of the Cyprus Investment Programme
- 6 months expected time frame of examination of applications
- The total financial investment can be as low as €2 million;
- Donation of €75,000.00 to the Research and Innovation Foundation and €75,000.00 the Cyprus Land Development Corporation
- The investor should only retain the investment for just 5 years after which he is only obliged to maintain in his ownership a residential property of a purchase price of €500,000.00 (plus VAT if any)
- The investor is able to rent out his privately-owned residence
- The applicant must, prior to his naturalization process, possess a residency permit of the Republic of Cyprus for a period of 6 months
- Multiple citizenship permitted
- No language proficiency tests
- The whole family can obtain the Citizenship including the spouse of the investor and minor children as well financially dependent adult children up to the age of 28, who are attending an institution of higher education aiming to obtain a diploma or an undergraduate or a master’s degree
- The parents to the Investor may also obtain Citizenship provided they hold a private residence of a purchase price of at least €500,000
- Citizenship transferable to all descendants
- Low Government fees for the filing of the Citizenship Application under the Cyprus Investment Programme
- VISA – free Travel to over 172 countries worldwide
The Cyprus Permanent Residence Program Criteria
- The main requirement is the purchase of new immovable property of a total market value of at least EUR 300,000 plus VAT. The applicant must submit the application form accompanied with a contract of sale and proof of payment of at least EUR 200,000 plus VAT. The contract of sale must have been submitted to the Cyprus Department of Land and Surveys. The property can also be bought by a company provided that the company is registered in the name of the applicant or the applicant and their spouse. They must also be sole shareholders.
- The applicant must submit a confirmation letter from a Cyprus bank that they have deposited a minimum capital of EUR 30,000 from abroad into an account that will be locked for three years. After the expiration of this period, the money will be released without restrictions.
- The applicant must provide supporting evidence of a secured annual income of at least EUR 30,000 deriving from abroad. This income must increase by EUR 5,000 for the spouse and every additional child and EUR 8,000 for each dependent parent. The income may include, for example, salaries from employment, rents, pensions, and dividends from shares.
Benefits of the Cyprus Permanent Residence Program
- The application procedure is highly efficient, within two months.
- There is a high approval rate if all criteria are satisfied.
- It is not necessary to reside in Cyprus, but a visit once every two years is required.
- Dependents can be enrolled in high-quality private schools, offering English language courses.
- Residence applies to the whole family (applicant, spouse, and children under 18 years old).
- Dependent children between 18–25 and parents of the applicant are also eligible.
- The whole process can be arranged without being present in the country. However, a visit is required for biometric capturing.
The most common route for conducting business in or via Cyprus is by setting up a Cyprus Company in the form of a limited liability company. Alternative legal structures can also be selected through establishing in Cyprus: branches, partnerships and trusts or choosing to re-domicile an existing foreign company to Cyprus.
Also, as regards funds, Cyprus offers prospective investors with two distinct structures for the establishment of funds as legal entities in the Republic: (a) International Collective Investment Schemes (ICISs), and (b) Open Ended Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities.