How to obtain Cyprus Passport and Cyprus Citizenship by investment
The Cyprus Citizenship by investment program is a relative new initiative, implemented by the Cyprus government and Cyprus immigration authorities. The Cyprus citizenship program by investment program facilities non-European Union entrepreneurs and investors who, in return for obtaining Cyprus Citizenship and Cyprus passport, are prepared to invest in Cyprus.
New Financial Criteria for Cyprus Citizenship by investment
An Applicant will be eligible to obtain Cyprus passport and Cyprus Citizenship if one of the following economic criteria is met:
A. INVESTMENTS IN REAL ESTATE, LAND DEVELOPMENTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
The applicant should make an investment of at least €2 million 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
B. PURCHASE OR INCORPORATION OR PARTICIPATION IN CYPRUS BUSINESSES AND CYPRUS COMPANIES
The applicant must have made an investment of at least € 2,0 million in the purchase, creation or participation in Cyprus businesses or Cyprus companies, that are based and operating in the Cyprus Republic. These businesses or companies should evidently have a tangible presence and turnover in Cyprus and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or European Union citizens.
C. INVESTING IN CYPRUS ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT FUNDS (AIF’S) OR FINANCIAL ASSETS OR CYPRIOT ORGANIZATIONS LICENSED BY THE CYPRUS SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, “CYSEC”
The applicant should invest least € 2 million in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets such as bonds, bills and securities of Cyprus Companies or Cyprus organizations that are licensed by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (“CySec”).
D. COMBINATION OF THE AFOREMENTIONED INVESTMENTS
The applicant may make a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount to at least € 2 million.
Applicants who satisfy the criteria for applying for Cyprus Investment Program must also:
- Have a clean criminal record
- Their names must not be listed in the list of individuals whose assets are ordered to be frozen within the borders of the European Union
- Additionally, applicants must hold a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus, the market value of which must be worth of a minimum €500.000 plus V.A.T.
FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE INVESTOR MAY ACQUIRE THE CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP
If the investor’s application fulfills the criteria for obtaining the Cyprus citizenship, the investor’s spouse or partner will be also able to acquire the Cypriot citizenship and Cyprus Passport simultaneously.
Provided that the Application for obtaining the Cyprus citizenship of the investor is successful then the children of the investor that are under the age of eighteen are also eligible to acquire the Cyprus citizenship and Cyprus passport.
The right to apply for Citizenship is also granted to the financially dependent adult children of the Investor. A child is regarded as financially dependent belonging to one of the below categories:
(a) students up to the age of 28 that are attending an institution of higher Education aiming to obtain a diploma or an undergraduate or a master’s degree. The Decision excludes individuals who are studying for the acquisition of a professional qualification (e.g. chartered accountants or barrister).
(b) children with severe physical or mental disability that renders them unable to work. The application can be submitted after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship.
The parents of the investor may apply for citizenship after the investor had acquired the Cyprus citizenship. In order for the investor’s parents to be able to apply for citizenship they need to 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 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.
How Christos Paraskevas LLC can assist you?
Christos Paraskevas is a leading law firm in the area of Immigration Law in Cyprus, and our expertise team of lawyers and other associates of our law firm may advice you on the basis of your particular circumstances and needs and also assist you through the whole process so you and your family members may successfully acquire the Cyprus Citizenship in the shortest time frame possible.
Please feel free to contact Christos Paraskevas LLC at [email protected] or telephone: +357 22432800 so we can discuss how we can be of assistance to you.
Cyprus Permanent Residency
Cyprus Permanent Residency is available to non – EU nationals by purchasing property in Cyprus through the fast track option outlined below.
The minimum requirements for applying and obtaining a permanent residency permit in Cyprus by investment (“fast-track”) are as follows:
- Acquire new residential premises in Cyprus of a minimum value EUR 300K (excluding VAT );
- Open and maintain a fixed deposit in a Cyprus bank of a minimum of EUR 30K for three consecutive years.
Moreover, the applicant is required to meet the following additional conditions:
- Maintain secured annual income originating from abroad of at least EUR 30,000. For each dependent person added to the application for permanent residency (such as wife and children), the minimum amount of the secured annual income is increased by EUR 5,000 and €8,000 for the parents of the main applicant. The income may be from overseas employment, pensions, interest on fixed deposits or rents from abroad. Exceptionally (for the fast track permanent residency applications), it is also possible for the income to be derived from dividends of a Cyprus company. It is important to note that employment in Cyprus is prohibited for this type of permit application.
- An initial payment of at least EUR 200,000 (excluding VAT) for the residential property to be purchased, is required to have been paid by the date of filing of the application;
- A confirmation letter from a Cyprus bank where the fixed deposit of EUR 30,000 is maintained, indicating the amount is pledged with the bank for a minimum of 3 years. Proof is also required that funds were legally transferred to Cyprus from abroad;
- A clean criminal record certificate issued by the applicant’s country of origin;
- A statement/affidavit confirming that the applicant has no intention to work or be engaged in any form of business in Cyprus;
- The applicant must visit Cyprus at least once every two years;
- No sanction order to have been issued against him/her or any dependent;
- Once the completed application has been submitted to the authorities, a decision is reached within 2 months.
Please note that holders of a permanent residency permit are not permitted to work in Cyprus. Therefore, the resident’s income cannot emanate from employment, business or trading in Cyprus, but may emanate from dividends received from a Cyprus company, from entities abroad, salaries from employment outside Cyprus, pensions, or rents transferred from abroad.
Permanent residency on a “normal-track basis” (known as a Regulation 5 (f) application)
The minimum requirements are as follows:
- Minimum annual secured income of approximately EUR 10,000 from sources outside of Cyprus (increased by approximately EUR 5,000 per dependent);
- Applicant does not maintain employment in Cyprus;
- Income is derived from legal sources abroad;
- Income is secure and provides stable support for the applicant and their family in the long run (including supporting evidence that all financial needs of the family are adequately covered);
- Clean criminal record;
- No sanction order to have been made against applicant or any dependents.
The main benefit of the 5 (f) application is the lower threshold of annual income required, together with the flexibility of renting a house prior to outright purchase. It should be noted, that once the application is filed, the applicant is free to travel to and from Cyprus without any restrictions.
The main disadvantage of the above method of application is that it takes up to a year (officially – in practice it may even take longer) to have the Ministry of Interior’s decision.
Applications for Category F which are the most usual should be accompanied by the original of documents regarding the income of the applicants.
The applications are examined by the Immigration Control Committee which submits a relevant suggestion to the Minister of the Interior for a decision to be taken.
An Immigration Permit will be automatically cancelled if the interested person fails to acquire residence in Cyprus within one year from the approval of the application, in case he/she is residing outside Cyprus. It will also be cancelled if he/she acquires permanent residence abroad or be absent from Cyprus for a period of two years
How Christos Paraskevas LLC can assist you?
Christos Paraskevas is a leading law firm in the area of Immigration Law in Cyprus, and our expertise team of lawyers and associates of law firm may advice you on the basis of your particular circumstances and needs and also assist you through the whole process so you and your family members may successfully acquire the Cyprus Permanent Residence in the shortest time frame possible.