Following its introduction in 2013, the Scheme for the Exceptional Naturalisation by direct investment has enjoyed immense success. The cases of investors gaining the Cypriot passport are numerous and the Scheme has become the most successful of its kind.
As such, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus has decided to introduce new provisions to the Scheme in order to facilitate investment and make an already greatly attractive program even more straightforward and efficient.
A non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one of the following economic criteria (A), either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/ she participates as a shareholder – proportionally based on the percentage of participation, or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that meets one of economic criteria (A), may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by exception.
A high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she 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.
The applicant should have concluded the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years since the date of the Naturalization.
In addition, the applicant must fulfill the Terms and Conditions set out in Part B.
In the case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been ascertained that any condition is being circumvented, the Naturalization may be revoked.
Α.1 Investment in real estate, development and infrastructure projects:
The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2.0 million for the purchase or construction of buildings or for the construction of other development projects (residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector or other infrastructure projects).
Investments in land are included in this criterion, provided that the application will include a business plan for its development. It is understood that investment in land where building is not allowed.
It is understood that VAT, transfer duties or any other charges or taxes are not included in the amount of the investment.
The Scheme does not exclude the purchase of properties that are not purchased for the first time.
Α.2 Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies:
The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2,0 million in the purchase, creation or participation in businesses or companies, that are based and operating in the Republic. The investment funds must be used for the financing of the investment objectives of the relevant businesses or companies exclusively in Cyprus, on the basis of a business plan.
These businesses or companies should evidently have a tangible presence in Cyprus, namely maintain offices in Cyprus, have substantial activity and turnover and also employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens. The minimum employees number will be increased in the event where more than one applicants invest simultaneously in the same business or company. In addition, the aforesaid employees must evidently have had legal and continuous residence in Cyprus for the 5 years period preceding the submission of the application.
Α.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations which are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission:
The applicant must have proceeded with the acquisition of units of at least €2,0 million from Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) which have been established in Cyprus and licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (“CySEC”), the investments of which are exclusively in Cyprus, in investment which fulfill the criteria of the present Scheme or in sectors which are approved by the Minister of Finance.
For the purposes of verifying that the investments are maintained for at least 3 years, the manager or auditor of the fund will annually inform the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance, in writing with regards to the value of the initial investment.
The acquisition of financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations of at least €2,0 million, such as bonds, debentures etc., which have been issued after approval of the CySEC, by companies which evidently have tangible presence and substantial financial activity in Cyprus and which refer to the financing of investment objectives of the said businesses or organizations exclusively in Cyprus on the basis of a business plan, fall within the scope of this Criterion.
Α.4 Combination of the aforementioned criteria
The applicant is required to have a combination of the above investments amounting to at least €2,0 million.
In the context of this Criterion, the applicant may acquire bonds issued by the Cypriot Government of up to €500.000, which will be issued by the Ministry of Finance, provided that the applicant will maintain the bonds in his possession for a period of 3 years. Such bonds may not be acquired by the secondary market.
- TERMS AND CONDITIONS
B.1 Clean Criminal Record:
The applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, 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.2 Ownership of residential property in Cyprus:
For all Criteria listed in Part A, 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.
The purchase value of the privately-owned residence of the applicant in Cyprus is not included in the minimum investment which is required for the submission of the application, but rather it is additional. In the event where the purchase price of the residence exceeds €500.000, the exceeding amount may be used for the purposes of completing the minimum investment requirement as per the above Criteria.
However, if an applicant decides to invest in the purchase of one or more residential properties as per Criterion A1 above, then he shall not obliged to buy an additional privately – owned residence of purchase value €500.000, provided at least one of the aforementioned residential properties has a purchase price of at least €500.000 plus V.A.T. and provided that such property will be retained in the investors possession for lifetime.
Members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire one residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000 per each applicant.
B.3 Family members eligible to obtain Citizenship based on the main investor:
The spouse, legal partner, parents, minor children and adult children up to 28 years old are eligible to obtain the Cyprus Citizenship based on the main investor’s investment under the following requirements:
- The parents need to hold a permanent residential property in Cyprus evaluated minimum at €500.000= plus VAT.
- The parents and the main investor are allowed to jointly purchase one residential property, provided that the total value of the property will be of minimum of €1.000.000= plus VAT.
- Adult children of up to 28 years old:
– who are financially dependent by the main investor, and
– who are full time students at a higher education institution, and
– their main activity is to study at a higher education institution for the acquisition of a certificate of studies, i.e. a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree.
- It is clearly understood that the studies for acquisition of professional title such as Certified/Chartered Accountant, Barrister, Doctor of Philosophy etc are not accepted as studies for the purposes of the application of the adult children.
Disabled Adult Children
– Dependent adult children who suffer from a heavy physical disability or mental disability, which render them unable to work.
The Citizenship application of the spouse of the main investor is deposited simultaneously with the application of the main investor. The parents and the dependent children can submit their application after the completion of the Naturalization procedure of the main investor.
B.4 Residence permit for Cyprus:
The applicant shall also simultaneously submit an application for the granting of Permanent Residence (“PR”) Permit in Cyprus.
In the event where the applicant is not already in possession of a residence permit, he will be able to submit an application for a migration permit on the basis of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Migration Regulations, simultaneously with the submission of the citizenship application. With regards to the submission of the PR Permit, solely for the purposes of obtain the Cypriot citizenship according to this present Scheme, the applicant will not be required to comply with any other conditions other than those included in Part A and Part B of this Scheme.
It is understood that the above provisions are applicable to the adult members of the investor’s family, who will apply for Cypriot citizenship.
In the event where the naturalization application is rejected for any reason, then the PR Permit which was obtained by virtue of this Scheme will be immediately cancelled.
C.SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS
In order to examine any applications under this Scheme, the Council of Ministers requires the submission of various documents proving the compliance of the Investor with the provisions of the Scheme. Please refer to the relevant Lists of Documents for more detailed information.
C.1 Ratification of accompanying documents
- All the accompanying documents issued by authorities or agencies or organizations of another state, must be duly certified pursuant to the Convention on the abolishing the requirement of legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Ratification) Law of 1961 (Apostille stamp).
- If the accompanying documents issued by an authority or organizations of another state who has not ratified the Convention on the abolishing the requirement of legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Ratification) adopted in Hague on 5.10.1961 (Apostille stamp), they should bear diplomatic certification.
- Where an accompanying document required is a copy, it should be certified in the same way.
Languages of the Accompanying Documents:
- All documents submitted with the application, shall be in Greek or English. Otherwise, they should be accompanied by a certified translation into one of these languages.
Protection of Personal Data
Please be advised that the above registries which contain your personal data are kept with the sole purpose of examining various applications/ requests submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department according to the Aliens and Immigration Law, Cap.105, and its relevant Regulations of 1972, as amended.
Yiannis Papazacharia LLC has advised on all aspects and has undertaken the successful preparation and submission of a significant number of applications for exceptional naturalization by direct investment and may assist and advise throughout the entire procedure from the investment to the successful completion of naturalization.