Cyprus citizenship could provide a fast track for investors

Not in the EEA and thinking of investing in Cyprus? The government’s new citizenship scheme could speed up the process.

The Cypriot government has implemented an immigration initiative aimed at facilitating (non-EEA) migrant entrepreneurs and investors who, in return for obtaining Cyprus citizenship, are prepared to invest in the country.

The scheme is operating efficiently and is based on a “fast track” process. The investment eventually allows the applicant (and eventually his/her spouse and children) to hold a Cyprus passport and have all the benefits of a Cyprus citizen. This is especially useful for an individual, national of a country outside the European Union, to hold a passport and citizenship of an EU member state country.

There is no requirement to reside in Cyprus, to be a Cyprus tax resident, or to surrender the applicant’s current nationality. Dual citizenships are allowed.
To be considered eligible to apply the applicant must have a clean criminal record, not be on any EU sanction list, own a residence in Cyprus worth at least 500,000 Euro (plus VAT) and satisfy one track, depending on their needs and circumstances. If the application is submitted with all necessary supporting documents, the application process usually takes around three months.

There are a range of tracks to choose from.

Deposit with Government Track

The applicant must have purchased state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus amounting to at least five million Euro.

Investment Track

The applicant must have investments in Cyprus of a minimum amount of five million Euro. These investments may involve the following:

a) Purchase of buildings (houses, offices shops, hotels or developments of similar nature which reach the final stage of construction – excluding empty land (undeveloped land)

b) Purchase of businesses or companies

c) Purchase of shares in public companies registered in Cyprus

d) Purchase of financial instruments (i.e. bonds, securities which are registered and issued in Cyprus)

e) Participation in a company/joint venture of companies which has undertaken the construction or development of a project of the Cyprus government.

Business Activities Track

The applicant must be a shareholder in a Cyprus Company (incorporated and trading/operating in Cyprus), provided that:

a) the Head Office of the Company is situated in Cyprus

b) the Company for the past five years before the submission of the application paid at least 0.5 million Euro annually in taxes, contributions or other payments in governmental funds

c) the Company employs at least 10 Cypriot citizens.

A maximum of two (2) shareholders from each such company can apply.

Track for persons affected by haircut measures after 15 March 2013

The applicant must have suffered losses to affected deposits in Bank of Cyprus or Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki Bank) amounting to a total of at least three million Euro. 

If the applicant has lost less than three million Euro, he/she can still apply using the other tracks, but deducting the sum lost with Bank of Cyprus or Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki Bank).

Deposit at Banks Track

The applicant or privately owned companies or trusts (in which he/she is the beneficial owner) must have personal fixed term deposits for three years in Cypriot banks in the Republic of Cyprus of at least five million Euro.

Read more about investing in Cyprus

Sara  Gunnervik
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