The Council of Ministers of Cyprus decided on the amendment of the criteria, by which naturalisation by Exception is granted to Investors. Article 111A of the Civil Registry Law 141(I)/2002, provides for the Naturalisation of Foreign Investors by exception, and the Council of Ministers retains the power to set those criteria.
The Council of Ministers by their decision on the 13th of September 2016, proceeded with important amendments which make this popular procedure even more simple and attractive.
A non – Cypriot citizen who fulfils one of the financial criteria from A1 to A4 set out below, either personally or through shares held in a company, or through investments carried out by the spouse or carried out jointly with the spouse or an Executive of a company that fulfils one of the financial criteria, may apply for the Cyprus citizenship by exception.
A. The Financial Criteria
A.1 Investment in Real Estate
The applicant must invest minimum EUR 2.000.000 for the purchase or construction or creation of developments such as residential or commercial projects, developments in the tourist sector or other infrastructure projects.
If the investment is in land which may be developed, the application must be accompanied by the relevant investment plan.
Land which falls into a zone where development is not allowed, is excluded from the above criterion.
A.2 Purchase or Incorporation of a Cyprus company or participation in a Cyprus business or company
The Applicant must proceed with the purchase, incorporation or participation to businesses or companies that have their base and activities in Cyprus, the total cost of investment being minimum EUR 2.000.000. The said investment must finance the investment purposes of the said business or company, exclusively in Cyprus, in the basis of an investment plan.
The applications will be examined so that the following requirements are confirmed:
a. the companies/ businesses maintain natural presence in Cyprus with substantial activities and business cycle;
b. they employ minimum five Cypriot citizens or citizens of an EU member state. The employees must have been living in Cyprus legally for at least five consecutive years preceding the filing of the application. The minimum number of employees will be increased if more than one investor invests in the same company/business.
A.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) or financial assets of Cyprus businesses or companies which are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec)
The applicant must purchase financial assets amounting to EUR 2.000.000 from Alternative Investment Funds which are incorporated in Cyprus, licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and they carry out their investments exclusively in Cyprus in Investments which fulfil the criteria of this scheme or in sectors approved by the Minister of Finance.
For the purpose of confirming that the Investments fulfilling the criteria of this scheme, will be held for a minimum period of three years, the Administrator or the Auditor of the Fund will be required to inform in writing, annually the Ministers of Interior and Finance referring to the cost initial investment.
A.4 Combination of the Above
The Applicant may proceed with a combination of the above mentioned investments, provided that the total cost of the investment will be at least EUR 2.000.000
B. Terms and Conditions
Permanent Residential Property in Cyprus
The Applicant must own residential property in Cyprus valued at least EUR 500.000 plus VAT. In the event that members of the same family wish to proceed with separate investments, may purchase one residential property, provided that the total value of the property covers the requirement of EUR 500.000 per applicant.
If the Applicant invests in Real Estate as A.1 above, and specifically in residential property, will not be required to purchase an additional residential property provided that one of the properties of the investment is residential, it’s value is EUR 500.000 plus VAT and the applicant maintains it on his/her name indefinitely.
Residence in Cyprus
The Applicant prior to the naturalisation must be legally resident in Cyprus.
The Applicant must have a clean criminal record obtained by the country of origin and habitual residence (if it differs).
C. Main Amendments
• The Investment Amount has been reduced to EUR 2.000.000 from EUR 2.500.000 plus 500.000 (excluding VAT), for the permanent residential property;
• The Application can be a singe application and there is no requirement for collective investments;
• The Applicant’s parents are eligible to apply for Cyprus Citizenship by Exception provided that they have purchased a permanent residence of at least EUR 500.000, plus VAT;
• Where the purchase price of the residential property exceeds the amount of EUR 500.000 (excluding VAT), the excess amount can be calculated in the total investment;
• A cap has been set on the Investment of Cyprus Government Bonds, the maximum amount allowed to be invested being EUR 500.000;
• The provision for fixed bank deposits has been abolished;
• An investment combining all financial criteria is now possible;
• Applicants must obtain permanent residency in order to be approved for Cyprus Citizenship;
• Applicants are now allowed to invest in a broader spectrum of investment opportunities.
Our firm advises and assists Individuals in applying and obtaining Cyprus citizenship. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +35725107587 for more information or to arrange an initial personal consultation. The present does not constitute legal advice.