Cyprus is one of the most popular European destinations for investors who wish to acquire European citizenship. It is currently one of the very few countries within the EU which offer direct Cypriot & subsequent European citizenship and passport in a short period of time (6 – 8 months). The Cyprus Citizenship Scheme is considered to be the most straight forward route to becoming a European citizen. It is aimed at high net worth individuals, investors & entrepreneurs, allowing successful applicants to enjoy all the benefits of both Cyprus & European citizenship.
The following family members are eligible to apply for the Cyprus Citizenship Program :
- Main Applicant – husband or wife
- Children upto (and including) the age of 17
- Children between 18 – 28 (provided their application is reviewed by the council of ministers prior to their 29th birthday & they are financially dependant on the main applicant & are students working towards their 1st university degree or 1st Masters degree).
- Any child of the main applicant who is financially dependant due to a severe physical or mental disability
- Parents of the main applicant, provided an additional € 500,000 investment is made in Cyprus residential property.
- The Main Applicant & eligible family members must hold a valid Schengen Visa
The following are the investment criteria that an applicant & family members need to satisfy in order to qualify for the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program. An applicant may invest in any one or a combination of the below options, provided that the total investment will amount to at least € 2,000,000, and the applicant holds that investment for a minimum period of 5 years :
- Donate EURO 75,000 to the Research & Innovation Foundation. This obligation can be waived under certain circumstances
- Donate EURO 75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation
- The applicant may invest EURO 2,000,000 in Cyprus property, land development or infrastructure projects. The investment in real estate must be held for a minimum period of 5 years, after which it can be reduced to a minimum of EURO 500,000 in residential property. In cases, where the applicant has chosen not to invest the entire EURO 2,000,000 in residential property (choosing instead to invest in a mix of different investments) OR invests in a residential property that was previously used for a CIP, then the applicant must invest EURO 2,500,000
- The applicant also has the option to invest the entire amount of the EURO 2,000,000 in shares of a Cypriot company, which has been established & is operating in Cyprus
- The applicant may also invest in the units of “Alternative Investment Funds” or “Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF), or financial assets of a Cypriot company, which are licensed & supervised by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySec), and whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this scheme or in areas approved by the Ministry of Finance
- If the applicant’s parents are also applying along with the main applicant, an additional investment of EURO 500,000 in Cyprus residential property has to be made for them to also qualify for citizenship
Some other important criteria to be satisfied by an applicant include the following :
- The applicant & eligible family members must have a clean criminal record
- A “Planning Permit” & “Completion Certificate” must be obtained for every CIP approved project
- When a property is under mortgage, a “bank waiver” letter must be obtained
- All applicants must obtain & hold a Cyprus Residence Permit for a period of 6 months (which can be applied for simultaneously with the application for Cyprus Citizenship)
Provided that the application has been duly submitted, with all supporting documentation, and the applicant meets all criteria, the time frame for completion of the Cyprus Citizenship process is between 6 – 8 months.
- The main applicant’s spouse can submit application simultaneously with the main applicant
- The main applicant’s minor children (below 18) can obtain Cyprus Citizenship after their parents have obtained citizenship. The decision on this application is normally taken in one month
- The main applicant’s adult children (18 – 28) must submit their application after the main applicant has obtained their citizenship. The time period for such an application is again normally 6 – 8 months
- The main applicant’s parents must submit their application after the main applicant has obtained their Cyprus Citizenship, provided they have made the additional € 500,000 investment in Cyprus residential real estate (NOTE : The main applicant & his/her parents can also collectively acquire a residence, provided the total value of this property is at least € 1,000,000).
There is no requirement to physically reside in Cyprus before, during or after the application, or even after acquiring citizenship.
Due Diligence is carried out by both us at Migratesmart® and by the government of Cyprus on the main applicant & dependents, as well as by the bank receiving the investment funds on the applicant’s source of funds. The period of due diligence depends on the circumstances of each client.