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Obtaining Citizenship By Investment in Cyprus

Obtaining Citizenship By Investment in Cyprus

Updated on Wednesday 05th July 2017

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Obtaining-citizenship-by-investment-in-CyprusVarious reports issued by prestigious international magazines place Cyprus among the most attractive European countries as an investment destination. One of the reasons for which Cyprus has gained this reputation is the government’s implication in offering numerous incentives to foreign businessmen interested in moving to this country by making significant investments.

One of the programs dedicated to foreign citizens moving to Cyprus for investment purposes is the Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception which was enabled in 2016. Below we will analyze the program together with its requirements and advantages. In the meantime, you can obtain more information on how to open a company in this country from our lawyers in Cyprus.

Who can apply for the Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception?

The following types of investors are agreed by the Cypriot government:

  • -          natural persons who hold a Cypriot residence permit;
  • -          natural persons who do not hold a Cypriot residence permit, but who can apply for one when they file the citizenship application;
  • -          family members can apply jointly for Cypriot passports as long as they purchase a property in which both spouses invest 500,000 euros.

Our local attorneys can offer more information on the requirements applying to foreign citizens seeking to obtain Cyprus citizenship by investment.

How to apply for citizenship by investment in Cyprus?

The Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception provides for three ways in which a foreign citizen may obtain the Cypriot citizenship. These are:

  • -          by investing in real estate or development of land or infrastructure projects;
  • -          by buying shares in local companies or by opening new companies in Cyprus;
  • -          by investing in alternative investment funds;
  • -          a combination of the three criteria mentioned above.

Our law firm in Cyprus can assist foreign investors who want to apply for citizenship by opening companies in this country or by investing in real estate or local companies.

Obtaining Cypriot citizenship by investing in real estate

The first way to obtain citizenship by in investment in Cyprus is by acquiring real estate property, by buying land or by investing in infrastructure projects. There are a few requirements to be fulfilled when choosing to apply for citizenship this way. First of all, the investment must be worth 2 million euros and must imply one of the below requisites:

  • -          the purchase of buildings;
  • -          the construction of buildings for residential or commercial purposes, including for touristic reasons;
  • -          investing in other infrastructure projects.

An important requirement of obtaining Cypriot citizenship by investing in real estate is that the land plot to be bought must be situated in a place with a great investment potential.

Obtaining citizenship by investing in Cypriot companies

The second way in which foreigners can acquire citizenship by investment in Cyprus is by investing in local companies or by incorporating a company here. The minimum investment amount remains 2 million euros. The investment can take the form of purchase of shares, financing of various projects developed by these companies only in this country and according to a certain investment plan. The Cypriot companies in which a foreign citizen may invest will be subject to a thorough verification. These must have an established presence in Cyprus and must employ at least 5 individuals who can be Cypriot or EU citizens. If the number of investors increases so will the requirements for the company related to the number of employees. Additionally, the employees must have been legally residing in Cyprus for 5 years continuously.

Applying for citizenship by investing in Cypriot investment funds

The third way in which foreign citizens can obtain Cypriot passports by investment is to buy financial instruments in alternative investment funds (AIFs) which must be licensed by the Financial Supervisory Authority, CySec. The amount to be invested remains 2 million euros. The fund must also meet certain criteria, among which the fact that the investments are made exclusively in Cyprus for a minimum period of 3 years.

Foreign citizens may also purchase bonds, securities or bills issued by Cypriot companies. The amount of these financial assets must be 2 million euros.

The combination of the three methods above implies a total investment of 2 million euros and an additional investment of 500,000 euros which will be used to buy special government bonds. These bonds must be held by the foreign citizen for a minimum period of 3 years.

Documents related to obtaining Cyprus citizenship by investment

Foreign investors applying for citizenship by investment in Cyprus must file the following documents:

  • -          an application letter;
  • -          a clean criminal record certificate;
  • -          a birth certificate;
  • -          a certified copy of the passport;
  • -          a marriage certificate, where applicable;
  • -          a CV;
  • -          two passport-size photos;
  • -          copy of the residence permit, where applicable;
  • -          copy of the work contract and a receipt issued by the tax authorities, where applicable.

Depending on the type of investment the foreign citizen will make, additional documentation must be prepared and filed with the Ministry of Interior in Cyprus.

For assistance in obtaining citizenship by investment in this country, do not hesitate to contact our Cypriot law firm.

 

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