An Island country in the Mediterranean famous for its surreal beaches and temperate weather round the year; Cyprus is a holiday seekers’ ideals destination. The country boasts of serene beaches and idyllic resorts along the scenic Mediterranean Sea. In recent years, Cyprus has also diversified its economy to emerge as an international banking destination. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Euro-zone in 2008. This has enabled the residents and businesses established in Cyprus to benefit from the freedom of movement of goods, services, people and capital throughout the entire European Union.
Cyprus has one of the only two approved “Citizenship for Investment” programs in the European Union. As a citizen of Cyprus, you also become a citizen of the European Union providing you the freedom of movement and work across the entire union. The program is called the “Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by exception” and is regulated under the “Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception, 2013”. The implementation of the scheme is governed by the Ministry of Interior, Cyprus and final Guidelines under Section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws, 2003 were made in 2014.
Basic Eligibility for Cyprus CIP
The Scheme for Naturalization is open to all individuals who fulfill the requirements laid down by law. The Nationalization scheme enables individuals to acquire Cypriot Citizenship which would allow them to move throughout the Schengen Region.
The basic eligibility for an applicant
- at least eighteen years of age;
- submits all additional documents as required;
- has a clean criminal record (including all his dependents) have passed the due diligence test and is a fit and proper person;
- He owns a residence valued at a minimum of €500.000, plus V.A.T. in Cyprus. The Contract of the sale of the property, receipt of payment, property title and evidence of wire transfer and other documents showing ownership of property may be required.
- Provides information about investment in property/ company/ bonds etc. as required (described in detail later)
Requirements for investment
There are eight ways through which investment requirements may be fulfilled in Cyprus CIP.
a) Investment in Government Bonds
An investment of a minimum of 5 million Euros must be made in Cyprus Government Bonds. As per the latest regulations, the bonds must be purchased from a primary source, i.e. directly from the Government.
b) Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations
An investment of a minimum of 5 million Euros must be made in financial instruments such as shares, bonds or debentures issued by a Cypriot company in Cyprus.
c) Investment in real estate, land development, and infrastructure projects
An investment of a minimum of 5 million Euros must be made in the development of tourism projects, building or residential projects or similar other ventures.
d) Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies
An investment of at least € 5 million must be made in the purchase, creation or participation in businesses or companies that are based and operating in Cyprus and must employ at least five citizens of Cyprus.
- Deposits in Cypriot banks
A deposit of a minimum of 5 million Euros has to be made in a long term of deposit of at least 3 years in a Cypriot Bank or in deposits of privately-owned companies or trusts (in which he/she is the beneficiary owner).
- Combination of the option a) to e)
A combination of options a) to e) may be used for investment subject to the fact that the total sum invested must be a minimum of 5 million Euros.
- Persons with deposits at Popular Bank Public Company Ltd who have been impaired due to the measures implemented after the 15th March 2013:
Persons who had deposits in the mentioned bank and who have been impaired by more than 3 million Euros may use this option. Applications who have been impaired by a lesser amount may use a combination of the options provided from a) to e) above to bring it up to 3 million Euros.
- Major Collective Investments
The Cypriot Government may reduce the level of investment required under the following situations:
- It may be reduced to €2.5 million for every investor, who demonstrably participated in a special collective investment scheme, provided that the total value of the investment is at least €12.5 million.
- May be reduced to €2.0 million for every investor who demonstrably participates in a special collective investment scheme, provided that the total value of the investment is more than €12.5 million
Applicants may select any one of the above-mentioned options depending upon their preference. However, receipts for payment for the mode of investment need to be submitted along with the applications as proof of investment.
Applications for Spouse and Children
The Spouse of the applicants and Minor or Adult Children (to 28 years) of the applicant can apply with the main applicant and there is no need for any fulfillment of financial requirements. The following additional documents, however, need to be submitted.
- Marriage Certificate by the Spouse.
- Birth Certificate of the Children and Marriage Certificate of Children above 18 years if they are married.
- Proof of attendance in Higher Educational Institution for children above 18 years.
Cost of the application
The applicants for the Cyprus CIP have to pay the following fees for their application:
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The time duration for procedures under the program. The time frame for processing an application is normally 3 months.
Advantages of the program
The Cyprus Scheme provides the best opportunity to acquire citizenship in the European Union with minimum investment. The program covers the entire family and has some of the lowest fee payment requirements. In fact, the program is highly investor-friendly and the investment in almost all the modes can be liquidated after three years if required. As a member of the European Union, citizens of Cyprus enjoy the right of movement and settlement throughout the Union. The Cypriot passport also allows Visa-Free Travel to more than 100 countries across the globe. As a global banking and financial services hub, Cyprus also allows you the freedom to continue your existing business or start a new business altogether.
Choose the Right Partner for your CIP Application
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Ministry of Interior, Cyprus- http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/moi.nsf/index_en/