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Information for buyers: visas, residence permit, citizenship obtaining

Grant of the Cypriot citizenship to non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/ investors through the “Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by exception”

As a part of its policies aiming to further encourage Foreign Direct Investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus the Council of Ministers, on the 13th of September 2016, revised the “Scheme for Naturalization of non-Cypriot investors by exception” and, thus, established the new criteria and terms based on which non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/ investors may acquire the Cypriot citizenship.

On the basis of the Scheme, a non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one of the following economic criteria, either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/ she participates as a shareholder – in proportion to his holding percentage, or through investments done by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that meets one of the 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 revenues of at least €100,000 over a three year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.
The applicant should have made 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 as from the date of the naturalization.

In the case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been established that a criterion,
term or condition of the Scheme has been breached, the granted naturalization may be
revoked.

CRITERIA

  • Investment in real estate, land 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 land development projects(residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector) or other infrastructure projects.It is noted that investment in land under development is included in this criterion, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land will be included in the application. It is understood that investment in land that is situated in a building zone of zero development, is excluded.
  • Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses:The applicant should have made a purchase or should have participated in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million. The invested funds shall be channeled towards the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan.The applications shall be evaluated to verify that the companies or organizations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or citizens of European Union member-states. The minimum number of employees shall increase, if more than one applicant invest simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same business or company. In addition, the employees of the companies need to have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application submission date.
  • Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec: The applicant should have bought units of at least €2,0 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed and supervised by the 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 Minister of Finance. In order to confirm that the investments that meet the criteria of the current Scheme will be kept for at least three years, the manager or the auditor of the Fund shall inform in writing and on an annual basis, the Ministries of Finance and Interior with reference to the value of the initial investment.  The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations of at least €2,0 million, such as bonds, bills and securities, issued with the approval of the CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus, and have as a purpose the financing of the investment plans of these companies or organizations exclusively in Cyprus, based on an investment plan, fall under this criterion.
  • Combination of the aforementioned investments: The applicant may proceed with a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2,0 million.Within this criterion (combination of investments) the applicant may purchase special government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus, up to €500.000, which will be issued by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance, on condition that the investor will retain these bonds for a three year period. The characteristics and the terms of these special bonds will be determined by the General and Special Issue Terms of the Government Bonds of the Republic of Cyprus. Investments in government bonds through the secondary market are not considered eligible.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • Clean Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his name must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the European Union, have been frozen as the result of sanctions.
  •  Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: the applicant must possess 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.
    It is noted that members of the same family, who 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.
    In case that the purchase value of the permanent privately owned residence in Cyprus exceeds the amount of €500,000, part of this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria of Part A above. Additionally, it is noted that if the applicant has invested in housing unit/units on the basis of the aforementioned criterion A.1, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000 plus VAT, provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life.
  • Residence Permit in Cyprus: The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot
    citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalization. If the application for acquiring an immigration permit is made solely for purposes of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship, in accordance with the provisions of this Scheme, there are no other conditions than those stated in both Part A and Part B of this Scheme.
    It is noted that all of the above also apply for the adult members of the family of the investor, who will apply for naturalization.
    In case the application for naturalization is rejected for any reason, the immigration permit, obtained in accordance with the provisions of this Decision, will be canceled immediately.

Ministry of interior

13.9.2016

PERMANENT RESIDENCE CERTIFICATE

Residence permit

Persons who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession, can apply for permanent residence certificate. The annual income required should be at least €9568 for a single applicant and moreover at least €4613 for every dependent person, but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary. Most applicants come under this Category, the majority of them being pensioners or retired persons.

Applications for Category F should be accompanied by the original of documents regarding the income of the applicants.
Applicants who are abroad may submit an application directly to Cyprus, as stated above, or through the local Consular Authorities of the Republic of Cyprus. The applications are examined by the Immigration Control Committee which submits a relevant suggestion to the Minister of the Interior for a decision to be taken.

An Immigration Permit will be automatically cancelled if the interested person fails to acquire residence in Cyprus within one year from the approval of the application, in case he/she is residing outside Cyprus. It will also be cancelled if he/she acquires permanent residence abroad or be absent from Cyprus for a period of two years.

 

The non-fast track procedure implies the revision of an application for about a year.

The law does not set the minimum value of the property; in this case, you can purchase a primary property from a developer or a resale property.

PERMANENT RESIDENCE – CATEGORY F, FAST TRACK PROCEDURE

The application is reviewed within two months.

The applicant must provide a title deed or contract of sale of the primary real estate from the developer. The purchase price must be at least € 300.000 + VAT, and the applicant must provide an official receipt that at least €200.000 (excluding VAT) has already been paid. It does not matter when the real estate becomes the property of the buyer. The remaining amount must be transferred to the seller’s account at a bank registered in Cyprus. All mentioned amounts must be received from abroad. A property can be purchased through a company if the applicant and/or his/her spouse are the sole shareholders of the company. The company must be registered in Cyprus or in any other country of the European Union.
The applicant must provide a certificate stating that he has an account in a bank registered in Cyprus, where his contribution of minimum € 30,000 has been deposited for at least three years. This amount must be credited to the account from abroad.
The applicant must provide information that he/she has an annual income (salary, pension, dividends, rent, etc.) of at least € 30.000 + € 5.000 for each dependent + € 8.000 for each applicant’s parent or his/her spouse which are inscribed in the statement. Revenues must come strictly from abroad.

 

 



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