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Cyprus Citizenship By Investment
Classical mythology associates the island of Cyprus with the birth of Aphrodite, and with its golden beaches, wondrous sea caves, and dazzling sunshine, it is no surprise that these early traditions linked the Mediterranean nation to the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Today, Cyprus is the destination of choice for hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, all seduced by the island’s ancient riches and spectacular coastline.
Non-EU investors and their families may gain citizenship in Cyprus through a programme called ‘Naturalisation by Exception’, which is one of few citizenship by investment programmes allowing a rapid entry in the European Union. Applicants must first purchase Cypriot real estate, which is declared as their permanent residence. They must then make an investment in the Cypriot economy, such as an investment in Government bonds. Finally, before obtaining their passport, they must visit Cyprus to provide their biometrics.
How to apply for Cypriot citizenship
Applicants must be over 18 years old and be of good character without any criminal convictions. They may apply with their spouse and children up to the age of 18. Children between the ages of 18 and 28 may be included in the application if they are financially dependent on the main applicant.
The process of applying for citizenship is rigorous and requires diligent preparation in order to gather all the information needed. Application timelines can vary and be difficult to predict, although they usually depend on how easily an applicant can access the required documentation, as well as the complexity of the application as a whole. We generally advise clients that it will take between 4 to 6 months to obtain citizenship after an application for citizenship is submitted to the Government of Cyprus.
The process may be simplified into the following steps:
Step 1: Application preparation and pre-approval by CS Global Partners.
Step 2: Purchase of real estate.
Step 3: Citizenship application submission and qualifying investment made in an escrow account.
Step 4: Government processing of the application.
Step 5: Approval in principle.
Step 6: Government fees paid and investment released.
Step 7: Citizenship certificate issued.
Step 8: Passport application, biometrics, and passport issuance.
1. An investment of €2 million in residential real estate in Cyprus
The investment in residential real estate must be retained for a minimum period of 3 years. At the end of 3-year period the investment can be reduced to a €500,000 residential property which should be held indefinitely.
The applicant can make multiple property purchases, so long as the total value of €2 million is retained for 3 years, and as the total value of the residential property owned indefinitely in Cyprus remain equal to or above €500,000.
2. €2.5 million (combination of real estate and/or investments)
A 3-year investment of €2 million in one or more of the following:
- Interest bearing Cypriot government bonds, provided the investment does not exceed €500,000.
- An investment, of €2 million in “eligible real estate” situated in Cyprus, namely:
d. Land, provided there is a development plan in place
- Creation, acquisition or participation in a Cypriot company or business where the applicant is a majority shareholder, with activities in Cyprus, and employing 5 Cypriot or EU nationals, who have been resident in Cyprus for a duration of 5 years prior to the filing of the citizenship application.
- The alternative Investment Fund or financial assets of a Cypriot entity licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec), with activities in Cyprus.
- A €500,000 investment in residential property, which must be held indefinitely.
Cypriot citizens may take advantage of a range of benefits, including:
The benefits of Cyprus’ Naturalisation by Exception Programmes include:
How we can help
CS Global Partners has been officially authorised by the Government of Cyprus to promote its Citizenship by Investment Programme across the globe.
At CS Global Partners we understand that applying for an alternative citizenship can be a complex and daunting process. This is why we make the application process as easy for our clients as possible. We offer the following standard services:
- A dedicated relationship manager as your single point of contact throughout your application.
- Professional guidance on the application procedure and support throughout the process.
- Documentation preparation and validation.
- Representation on your behalf before the Government.
- Management and resolution of any legal queries related to the application.
- Additional services available on request for clients wishing to utilise our partner network to support their application, including the following:
- Concierge services
- Property investment and advice
- Notary Public services
- Relocation assistance
- Translation services
- Tax planning
- Medical services
- Trust planning
- Banking services
- Fiduciary services
Cyprus’ Naturalisation by Exception Programme was established pursuant to a 2013 decision by Cyprus’ Council of Ministers, contained in Section 111A(2) of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013. The Cypriot Government then revised the Programme in March 2014.
Why choose Cyprus?
Located at the crossroads of three continents on the cusp between East and West, Cyprus is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. The island welcomed the Ancient Greeks, the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire to its shores, and its quaint towns and villages bear witness to this rich and diverse heritage. Beyond the ruins and remnants of once-mighty kingdoms scattered across its rugged hills, Cyprus entices with its balmy weather, crystalline waters and moreish cuisine.
Cyprus is a presidential republic, with the President standing for re-election every five years. Like most of the democratic and modern countries, separation of powers in Cyprus provides checks and balances to vindicate the rule of law. The country’s official languages are Greek and Turkish, although English is widely spoken.
Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, nestled between Southern Europe, Northern Africa and the Anatolian Peninsula of West Asia. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, measuring 240 kilometres (149 mi) long and 100 kilometres (62 mi) wide at its widest point. It’s population has grown from around 830,000 in 2011 to an estimated 1.1 million in 2015.
Cyprus enjoys a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with very mild winters and hot summers that see plenty of sunshine. Warm temperature season usually lasts around eight months, between April and November, although temperatures remain mild in the remaining four months of the year. Rain occurs mainly in the winter, while summers are largely arid and dry. Snow occasionally falls in the Troodos Mountains in the centre of the island.
Getting to Cyprus
An established and popular European holiday destination, Cyprus has three major airports to cater for the large number of visitors to the island each year. Larnaca International Airport, on the Southern Coast of Cyprus, welcomes more than 5 million arrivals each year, with direct flights in operation from a wide range of European, Middle-Eastern and North African destinations. Paphos International Airport, in Southwestern Cyprus, deals largely with arrivals from European destinations, while Ercan International Airport, in the Northern territory of Cyprus, welcomes flights from a range of Turkish destinations.
Cyprus is an active member of the European Union, with a high-income economy and a business-friendly environment. Indeed, Cyprus has the lowest corporate tax rate in the entire European Union – currently standing at 10%. Moreover, Cyprus is ideal for families and students, as it has a world-class education system to which 7% of the country’s GDP is directed every year.
The business services sector remains the fastest growing sector of the Cypriot economy, while its geographical position at the crossroads of three continents makes it an important ship management centre, lending to its merchant shipping industry. Tourism also continues to make a significant contribution to the country’s economy.