Cypriot Citizenship For Investors Through Naturalization By Exception.

On 19th of March 2014, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus, acting with the power granted to it by the Subsection (2) of Section 111a of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013 (which allows the Council to decide for the naturalization of foreigners by exception, under any conditions it determines as appropriate), has taken a decision which provides for the grant of the Cypriot citizenship to foreign entrepreneurs, by exception (hereinafter “the Decision”). The Decision has revised a previous Decision of the Council of Ministers, dated 24th of May 2013.

The provisions of the Decision

Under the Decision, there are six-methods by which a non-Cypriot citizen may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by exception. This can be done by an applicant, either personally or through a company in which she or he participates as a shareholder, based on the percentage of her/his participation (minimum 50%), or even by an applicant who is a high ranking senior manager* of a company.

(* A high ranking senior manager may apply, provided that she or he receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenue of at least €100,000 for a three year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.)

1. Methods:

(A) Investment in Governmental Bonds:  The applicant must have purchased state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus, of at least €5 million, or

(B) Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations: The applicant must have purchased financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations (bonds, securities, debentures, registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus) of at least €5 million.  It is noted that these financial assets can be purchased either at issuance or subsequently by the market, or

(C) Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects:  The applicant must have made an investment of at least € 5 million for the purchase or construction of buildings or for the construction of other land development projects (residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector or other infrastructure projects), or

(D) Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies:  The applicant must have made an investment of at least € 5 million in the purchase, creation or participation in businesses or companies, that are based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus.These businesses or companies should evidently have a tangible presence in Cyprus and employ at least five (5) Cypriot citizens. It is noted that the mandatory conversion of deposits into shares is included in this criterion, or

(E) Deposits in Cypriot banks: The applicant must have personal fixed term deposits for three years in Cypriot banks or deposits of privately owned companies or trusts (in which she/he is the beneficial owner) in the Republic of Cyprus of at least €5 million, or

(F) Combination of the aforementioned criteria set out in (A) (Investment in government bonds), (B) (Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations), and (C) (Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects), (D) (Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies), and (E) (Deposits in Cypriot banks):

The applicant is required to have a combination of the above amounting to at least €5 million, or

(G) Persons whose deposits with the Cyprus Popular Bank Public Company Ltd have been impaired due to the measures implemented after the 15th March 2013: The applicant has incurred impairment in deposits amounting to a total of at least €3 million.

In the case where the applicant has incurred an impairment in her/his deposits less than €3 million she/he may apply, having made an additional investment through the criteria (A) (Investment in Government bonds), 1(B) (Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations), 1(C) (Investment in real estate, land development or infrastructure projects), 1 (D) (Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies) and 1 (E) (Deposits in Cypriot Banks), for the balance of the required amount of the aforementioned criteria, or

(I) Major Collective Investments:

The Council of Ministers shall have the right, on special occasions, to reduce the above criteria set out in (A) (Investment in Government Bonds), (B) (Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations), (C) (Investment in real estate, land development or infrastructure projects) and (D) (Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies):

  1. 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.
  2. To €2 million, for investors who demonstrably participate in a special collective investment scheme, provided that the total value of the investment is more than €12.5 million. It is noted that this present provision (I), will be in force until the 1st of June 2014.

In addition, it is noted that for the above mentioned provisions I (i) and I (ii), the investment for methods (A) until (D) may be realized through a different salesman/provider (physical or legal entity).

2. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

In order to obtain Cyprus Citizenship by exception, the Applicant has to make sure that he fulfils the following requirements:

A. Clean Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, her/his name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the European Union;

B. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part 1, the applicant must hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T.

(Members of the same family, which apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000, per each applicant.)

3. REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION/ FILING OF THE APPLICATION

In order for an application to be examine, the following documentation is required:

  1. Application Form M127;
  2. Documents evidencing the respective investments and/or deposits of the applicant;
  3. Clean Criminal Record:  Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of
  4. Birth certificate;
  5. Copy of passport;
  6. Marriage Certificate (if any);
  7. Curriculum Vitae;
  8. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus (contract of sale of property, title deeds, receipts for paying the agreed purchase price, bills e.t.c);
  9. If the applicant is a high-ranking senior manager, the following documents should also be submitted:

– copy of the employment contract;

–  copy of the receipt by the Inland Revenue Department.

Further Information

N. Mouktaroudes & Associates assist international clients in obtaining Cypriot Citizenship For Investors Through Naturalization By Exception. Please contact us for more information or to arrange for an initial personal consultation.