EU Citizens are free to enter, travel, leave and live in Cyprus and may also engage in any economic activity either as paid employees or self-employed persons, service providers or engage in any educational opportunity in Cyprus under the same conditions as Cypriot citizens. Citizens of the Republic of Cyprus enjoy unrestricted travel to the EU region and can also travel visa free to over 140 countries.
Cyprus is considered to be one of the most popular jurisdictions to obtain eu citizenship not only due to its EU member status but also due to its prominent geographical location, high standards of living and its first class infrastructure.
It is possible for non-EU citizens to acquire Cypriot citizenship by Exception through direct investment in the Republic. As per the decision of the Council of Ministers dated 24 May 2013, a non-Cypriot can apply for the acquisition of Cyprus Citizenship by investment, if the applicant, under provisions and certain criteria, proceeds with a direct investment in the Republic.
Among the criteria, the applicant must purchase financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations such as bonds, securities, debentures which are registered and issued in the Republic of at least 5 million Euros. These financial assets can be purchased either at issuance or from the market or the applicant is eligible to apply for citizenship after direct investments through the purchase of properties (houses, offices, shops, hotels or a development of a similar nature, excluding underdeveloped land) in Cyprus with a minimum value of €5 million.
Revised criteria for granting Cyprus Citizenship by Investment:
On the 28th of March 2014 the Cyprus Government through the Ministry of Interior announced changes to the criteria for granting the Cypriot citizenship by exception to foreign investors, in an effort to further promote foreign investment in Cyprus.
In this respect, the Council of Ministers shall have the right in special circumstances, reduce the above criteria to €2.5 million for investors, who demonstrably participate in a special collective investment scheme, provided that the total value of the investment is at least €12.5 million.
Involvement, Purchase or Creation in Cyprus Companies or Businesses and Deposits in Cypriot Banks
It is imperative that the applicant must have made an investment of at least €5 million in the purchase, creation or involvement in companies or businesses that are based and operating in Cyprus or that the applicant has personal fixed term deposits for 3 years in Cypriot banks or deposits of privately owned companies or trusts in the Republic of Cyprus in which he is the beneficiary at the value of at least €5 million or a combination of the aforementioned criteria as mentioned above.
Buying a Residence in Cyprus
The applicant must have a permanent privately-owned residence, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000 excluding VAT. However, the purchase value of the privately-owned residence is not included in the minimum investment which is required. It should be noted that if the applicant decides to invest solely in the purchase of a residence to the purchase price of €5 million, he is then not obliged to buy a further privately-owned residence of €500.000. It is also essential that the applicants name is not included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the EU.
The applicant deciding to purchase property in Cyprus is not required to stay in Cyprus but must be at least 30 years of age and hold a certificate stating a clean criminal record from his country of origin and his country of residence if it is different. The applicant’s family is also entitled to join the applicant, spouse, children over the age of 18 who may be considered financially dependent may also be granted Cypriot citizenship as well as underage children. Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any financial criteria. It is possible for the applicant to acquire Cypriot citizenship and retain his existing nationality provided his application is approved.
Procedure and completion time frame
All supporting documents along with an application form (M127) and a letter addressed to the Ministry of Interior in which the investment and criterion under which the application is made are briefly explained must all be submitted. The documents relating to the investments are sent to the Ministry of Finance for evaluation while the Ministry of Interior investigates whether the applicant meets all other conditions and criteria. The case is then presented to the Council of Ministers for final decision. Upon the approval of the application, the Certificate of Naturalisation is issued. The time frame for the completion of the process is approximately 3 months.
Our qualified team of experts on the matter of EU Citizenship will analyse and discuss all the requirements and select the best suitable options for you. All the necessary documentation and information needed to set up and coordinate all legal, financial and banking issues will be taken care of. Additional advice and coordination will be offered on the entire process and on compliance and due diligence issues. All our consultations are personalized to meet your needs and kept private and confidential as we maintain our high standards of client confidentiality.