Cypriot Citizenship by exception
Our Law Firm provides legal advice to non-Europeans for the acquisition of EU Cyprus citizenship.
Article 111A of the Civil Registry Law 141(I) 2002 as amended allows the Council of Ministers to bypass the conditions set by Table 3 of the Law under which an applicant for Cyprus citizenship should be living and working in Cyprus continuously for at least 7 years, and provides for the Cyprus Citizenship by Exception that allows direct short-term acquisition of honorary citizenship by investment to individuals for reasons of public interest.
Firstly, citizenship by exception provides the following benefits:
a) The Cyprus passport is a full EU passport. Investor and his family can freely reside, work, study, have business in any of the EU-member states as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland
b) The holder of Cyprus passport can travel visa-free in 157 countries.
c) The passport is issued also for the investor’s spouse and all financially dependent children (up to 28 years old). All next generations of investor retain EU citizenship. The wife and children under 18 years of age of the holder of Cyprus citizenship can file application for Cyprus citizenship once the husband has acquired it. Children being students for a first bachelor or master degree between 18 and 20 years of age can also apply.Furthermore, the age limit is irrelevant for children suffering from permanent disability.
d) The parents of the applicant can be eligible for citizenship with the purchase of an additional residence valued at €500,000.
e) Dual-citizenship is permitted. Acquisition of Cyprus citizenship is not reported to other countries.
f) The procedure takes around 3 months to be completed (holidays excluded).
g) No donation requirement to the Cyprus government
h) No history and language proficiency tests requirement.
Secondly, the applicant for citizenship by exception:
a) Must have a clean criminal record
b) Must be at least 30 years old
c) Must invest in a permanent residence in Cyprus of a market value of at least € 500.000 + VAT
d) Must not appear in any list of individuals whose property within the EU is placed under restrictions
e) Must travel to Cyprus to justify his relation to the country at least once every 2 years.
f) Must hold a residence permit for Cyprus in order to be issued a passport: for this purpose, he/she should submit an application for a residence permit, which will be issued simultaneously with the filing of the Citizenship application. The obtaining of residence permit is a formality due to EU regulation. There is still no requirement for the investor to live in Cyprus.
g) Must maintain the investment in Cyprus for at least 3 years.
Please note that there is no more possibility to reduce the investment benchmark through a Collective Investment.
Further and additionally to the above and c), there are 5 different ways for an applicant to acquire Cyprus citizenship by exception:
Investments in State Bonds
The applicant must invest a total of € 2.5 million of which a maximum € 1.5 million is invested in bonds issued by the Republic of Cyprus and the remaining in the options mentioned further, plus purchase a residence of minimum market value € 500,000. The aim of this particular amendment is to fuel the economy with circulating currency rather than state lending. The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 3 years.
Investment in Investment Funds, financial assets of Cyprus Companies or Cyprus Organizations
The applicant must invest a total of € 2.5 million of which at least € 2 million in an Alternative Investment Fund or financial assets of Cyprus entities or organizations plus purchase a residence of minimum market value € 500,000. Financial assets mainly include bonds, securities, debentures registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus and can be purchased at the issuance or subsequently to the purchase. The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 3 years.
Direct investments in real estate, developments & infrastructure
The applicant has the option of a € 2 million investment exclusively in residential estate which allows the authorities to cancel the obligation to purchase a permanent residence in Cyprus of a market value of at least € 500.000 + VAT, or he can invest a total of € 2.5 million with direct investments in Cyprus of at least € 2 million in the purchase and development of residential real estate of at least € 500.000 + VAT, commercial real estate, development projects including housing units in the tourist sector or other infrastructure projects. Investments must be on land which can be developed and must be accompanied by a development plan. Land which does not fall in the specific zones will be excluded from the provisions.
The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 3 years.
Incorporating, acquiring or investing in Cyprus companies
The applicant must invest a total of € 2.5 million of which at least € 2 million in companies residing and operating in Cyprus that he has acquired, incorporated or in which he has participated, plus purchase a residence of minimum market value € 500,000. The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 3 years.
Such companies must have a physical presence in Cyprus (substance) and employ at least 5 Cypriot nationals. Furthermore, they have the obligation to turn deposits into shares.
The applicant can invest a total of € 2.5 million with a combination of the above a) to e) and invest at least € 2 million plus purchase a residence of minimum market value € 500,000. The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 3 years.
a) Investments in State Bonds
b) Investment in Investment Funds, financial assets of Cyprus Companies or Cyprus Organizations
c) Direct investments in real estate, developments & infrastructure
d) incorporating, acquiring or investing in Cyprus companies