On 13th of September 2016, the Cyprus Council of Ministers has approved the amendments to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception. The said scheme is based on subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015.
The said amendments are in line with the strategy of the Cyprus Government to further attract Foreign Direct Investment and encourage the use of Cyprus by High Net-Worth Individuals.
- Level of investment reduced to a total of €2M - €2.5M, as opposed to €2.5M - €3M under the previous Criteria.
- The Ministry of Interior can now accept single applications.
- The Parents of the investor (main applicant) can now obtain the Cypriot Citizenship with an additional investment of €500.000 plus VAT (if any).
- Abolishment of the criterion of bank deposits.
- The maximum amount that an investor can spend in Cyprus Government bonds is €500.000.
- The applicants must acquire a Permanent Residency (P.R.) prior of their naturalisation approval. The Passport can be issued 6 months after the P.R.
For the period until the end of October 2016, investors can choose under which Scheme to apply, i.e. the revised Scheme of 13/09/2016, or the previous one of 19/03/2014. As from 1st November 2016, the revised Scheme comes in full effect.
Investments Eligible for Cypriot Citizenship
- Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects;
- Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations;
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec);
- A combination of investments, with the option of purchasing up to €500,000 in Cyprus Government bonds, which must be retained for a 3 year period.
Cypriot Citizenship by Investment Application Process
- An Application for Cypriot Citizenship by Investment and Cyprus Residence Permit is submitted to the Ministry of Interior with original supporting documentation. All the documents issued by a foreign authority should be translated either in Greek or in English and be duly authenticated.
- If the Investor meets the criteria and conditions required, the application is submitted by the Ministry of Interior to the Council of Ministers for approval.
- The application of the spouse is submitted concurrently with the application of the main applicant. Upon the approval of these applications, the children's application will follow.
- Once the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment application is approved, the Civil Registry and Migration Department issues the Certificate of Naturalisation.
- Provided that such an application is duly submitted and accompanied by all the necessary supporting documents, and the investor meets the criteria and conditions of the decision of the Council of Ministers, the time frame for the completion of the process is approximately 6 months. It should be noted that the application submission date is the date on which the submission fees are paid.
- The Council of Ministers has complete discretionary power regarding the approval of a Citizenship Application.
Benefits of acquiring Cypriot Citizenship by Investment
- Citizens have the right to live and work within the EU.
- Protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any EU country.
- Right to vote and stand for European Parliament elections.
- Free movement of goods, services and capital.
- Visa-free travel to over 150 countries including the EU and Canada.
- Citizenship can be passed to future generations by descent.
- No need to renounce previous nationality as dual citizenship is allowed.
- Cypriot Citizenship by Investment can be obtained within 6 months; unless you already have a residence permit. In such a case you can acquire a passport within 3 months.
- Cyprus is a common law jurisdiction.
- Cyprus Residence Permit within 3-4 days until your Cyprus passport is approved.
The content of this article intends to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought on each particular case. For any further information, please contact Mr Yiannis Fanides at email@example.com or telephone: 0035726930800.