The Republic of Cyprus has implemented various incentives in order to enhance and attract further foreign direct investments into the country. One of the schemes is the citizenship-by-investment program which grants Cypriot citizenship to those that invest EUR 2,000,000 or more in residential real estate, an investment amount which has decreased by EUR500 000 since 2016; or EUR 2,000,000 in an investment property (or other investments) in addition to a further EUR 500,000+VAT invested in the purchase of a private residence in Cyprus. The parents of the main applicant can also be considered under the scheme.
Obtaining Cypriot citizenship is estimated to take 3-6 months, the shortest time frame at present. Once granted investors, and their family, automatically gain the right to live, work and study in all 28 EU member states.
Any investor may apply for Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by Exception if they meet one of the investment criteria below. The qualification may either be done personally or through a company in which the applicant acts as a shareholder or as a high-ranking senior manager.
The Cypriot program begins from €2 m euros for investment in residential properties and reaches €2,5 million euros in case the investor chooses to invest in a different manner as stated in 1 to 4 below:
1. Investment in real estate, developments and infrastructure projects – at least EUR 2 million for the purchase or construction of real estate
2. Purchase, establishment, or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies – at least EUR 2 million, creation or participation in businesses or companies based and operating in Cyprus and employing at least five Cypriot citizens.
3. Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot enterprises or Cypriot organizations licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission – at least EUR 2 million from Alternative Investment Funds (AIF). This also covers the purchase of financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations for at least EUR 2 million, in the form of bonds, securities and debt securities.
4. Combination of the above investments
All investment options need to be kept for a minimum of 3 years, which is better than in other EU countries, where investments generally need to be kept for 5 to 8 years.
Some of the benefits of the Cypriot Citizenship-By-Investment Program