Naturalisation of investors in Cyprus by exception

Posted on 03 Jan 2014, by Christoforos Andreou

On October 10th 2011, the Council of Ministers laid down the criteria for naturalisation of investors in Cyprus by exception on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013. A plan which benefits both sides which was implemented in Cyprus law after 2011 and laid down the criteria for foreign investors to obtain Cypriot citizenship has benefited the Cyprus government with millions of Euros of investments. On the other hand investors of countries outside EEA were eventually allowed to hold a Cyprus passport and have all the benefits of Cypriot citizens and therefore all the benefits of an EU citizen. Eventually the family of the applicant can also apply to hold a Cyprus passport as well.

The conditions that have to be satisfied are that the applicant has to to be at least 30 years old and have no previous criminal convictions. Additionally, the Cyprus government will seek confirmation that the applicants do not have any property in the EU that has been frozen. Lastly, the applicant is required to have a permanent privately owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the value of which must exceed the amount of €500,000.

A non-Cypriot citizen may, by exception, apply for the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship, if he/she meets one of the following criteria:

(1) Mixed investments and a donation to a state fund:

  • The applicant must invest at least 2 million euros for the purchase of shares and/or bonds of the investment company of the state under formation.

  • The applicant must invest an amount of 0.5 million Euros at least as a donation to the Research Technology fund or to the Solidarity and Employment Fund.

(2) Direct Investments:

The applicant must have direct investments in Cyprus of at least 5 million Euros. Such investment could be:

  • The purchase of properties such as houses, apartments, shops etc;

  • The purchase of business or company that are based in the Republic of Cyprus;

  • The purchase of financial assets (which need to be registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus, including those to be issued by the Solidarity Fund on the basis of the Establishment of a National solidarity fund Law of 2013);

  • The purchase of Companies registered in the Republic of Cyprus;

  • The participation in a company/consortium that has undertaken to carry out a public project.

(3) Deposit in banks:

The applicant must have Deposits in the Republic of Cyprus of at least 5 million euros for at least 3 years or the Deposits can be held by a private company of which he is the beneficiary owner.

(4) Business Activities:

The applicant must be a shareholder or beneficiary owner of a company that is registered and operates in Cyprus for 3 years before the submission of the application and has paid to the state funds of at least 500.000 Euros per annum.

In the situation where the Company employs at least 5 Cypriot citizens then the amount is reduced to 350.000 Euros per annum; and in the case where the company employs at least 10 Cypriot citizens then the amount is reduced to 200.000 per annum. For every such company 2 shareholders from each company can apply.

(5) Persons whose deposits have been impaired due to the measures implemented after the 15th March 2013:

The applicant has incurred impairment in deposits with the Bank of Cyprus or the Cyprus Popular Bank amounting to a total of at least 3 million Euros.