Cyprus Citizenship Program
Cyprus, with its warm and stable climate and convenient geographical position, is considered an attractive place for residence. The investment landscape in Cyprus is beneficial due to the island’s well-qualified labor force, attractive taxation, and a reliable transport and telecommunications system. Cyprus has a modern, free-market, service-based economy, with an effective and transparent regulatory and legal framework, giving international investors and businesses confidence to invest, grow and prosper. Cyprus has a resilient economy and showed continued sustained growth following the last recession. Measures implemented to stimulate the economy has accelerated Cyprus’ GDP growth
placing the island amongst the highest accelerating economies in Europe.
There have been several updates to the existing Cyprus Investment Programme. The Council of Ministers revised the existing program on 13 September 2016, enabling foreign nationals to gain citizenship if they meet certain criteria set out by the Council of Ministers. When you acquire citizenship under the Cyprus Investment Programme, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent. Cyprus has been a full member of the EU since 2004. The island is located in the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The strategic location of the island has played an important role in its development as a financial center.
The Cyprus Investment Programme requires a person to make a significant economic contribution to the country. In exchange, and subject to a stringent vetting and due diligence process, including thorough background checks, the applicants and their families are granted citizenship. The Council of Ministers reduced the capital requirement to EUR 2 million. To qualify for citizenship, the primary applicant must be over 18 years of age and meet the application requirements under one of the following options:
- Real estate, developments, and infrastructure projects: the applicant must commit at least EUR 2 million to the purchase or construction of real estate
- Purchase, establishment, or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies: the applicant must commit at least EUR 2 million to the purchase, creation or participation in businesses or companies that are based and operating in the Republic. These businesses or companies should have a demonstrable and tangible presence in Cyprus and employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens
- Participation in alternative investment funds or the purchase of financial assets of Cypriot enterprises or organizations licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission: the applicant must purchase units amounting to at least EUR 2 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) This criterion also covers the purchase of financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations for at least EUR 2 million, in the form of bonds, securities and debt securities.
- Combination of the above options: the applicant may choose a combination of the above, provided that the total amounts to at least EUR 2 million. The applicant’s combination may include the purchase of special government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of up to EUR 500,000
Procedures and Time Frame
Typically, the full process for obtaining approval of an application in Cyprus takes six months. At Henley & Partners, we provide the most effective application process. There are
the four steps in the citizenship application when choosing the real estate option:
Step 1 — Review and select qualifying real estate
Our market intelligence team has conducted extensive research on the real estate market and can advise on unique or specific searches and present options that have passed our due diligence.
Step 2 — Prepare citizenship application
The applicant will receive a detailed application package and checklist of the documents that must be collected and submitted with the application. The most time-consuming documents may be requested ahead of time, such as birth certificates, marriage, and divorce certificates, as well as police clearance certificates from your country of origin and residence, if different
Step 3 — Submit citizenship and Immigration Permit applications
Once the citizenship application file of the applicant is duly completed, it will be submitted to the Ministry of Interior. Afterward, the Immigration Permit application will be submitted to the Migration Department, where applicants are required to organize a visit for the collection of biometric data. The immigration card will be issued five to 10 working days from the date of submission of the immigration application. This will allow the applicant to travel and reside in Cyprus while waiting for the issuance of the Cypriot passport. Once a citizenship application is submitted to the Ministry of Interior, it is forwarded to the Ministry of Finance for examination of the financial criteria. When clearance from the Ministry of Finance is given, the application is sent back to the Ministry of Interior. Then, once the Ministry of Interior is satisfied, the application is routed to the Council
of Ministers for ratification. The expected time for approval of the citizenship application is approximately six months.
Step 4 — Issue of Cypriot citizenship certificate
Once ratified by the Council of Ministers, a letter of approval will be issued. In order to satisfy the program requirements and receive the documents, the applicant must hold the Immigration Permit for six months prior to visiting Cyprus for the issuance of the documents. You will take an oath to the Republic and have your citizenship certificate stamped.application for your biometric Cypriot passport and ID which can be issued in two to three hours. The applicant is required to be physically present in Cyprus for one working day in order to complete the above process.
There are no restrictions on dual citizenship in Cyprus.
- The right of free movement; freedom to work and study; and security within the social and legal system EU
- The whole family of the main applicant benefits from the Cyprus Investment Programme
- Allows visa-free travel to 173 destinations including Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK
- Completion in approximately 180 days
- A straightforward documentation process
- The benefit of investing, not donating your wealth
- Citizenship may be passed down to future generations