By far, only three EU countries offer investor immigration program along with immediate citizenship, with Cyprus making the most compelling case. Not only does Cyprus boasts of the fastest application processing time and an EU passport with visa-free travel possibilities, but also offers a plethora of other perks to those seeking Cyprus citizenship.
The strategic geographic location of Cyprus where three continents converge makes it an international hub with easy access to profitable markets. Add to that the low business tax regime of Cyprus and other incentives offered by the government to attract direct foreign investment, and you will find how lucrative Cypriot citizenship can be.
However, the Cyprus naturalization scheme has been criticized for low entry barriers having the requirement of at least €2,000,000 investments in Cyprus businesses, funds, infrastructure or estate/land development with additional requirements, the provision of applicant’s clean criminal record and evidence of a permanent residence. Thus characterized as a “passport-for-cash” favored by Chinese and Russian nationals.
Addressing the criticism finance minister, Mr. Harris Georgiades, announced changes in the procedure for approval, constricting the selection process. The vetting process has become more rigorous adding enhanced due diligence with additional checks and controls by international organizations and agencies, dedicated in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing evaluation, ensuring a thorough and exhaustive checks. Furthermore the number of passports issued per year will be limited to 700.
Now, if you are planning to take advantage of Cyprus citizenship, the following investment routes can be followed:
- Investing in real estate and land developing
An applicant will be eligible for Cyprus citizenship if he has a direct investment in Cyprus of a minimum of €2.000.000. The investment can be for the acquisition or development of real estate projects including commercial, residential, infrastructure or tourism. Please note that acquisition of land alone is not a qualifying condition under this criterion.
- Investment, development or participation in Cypriot businesses
The applicant also qualifies for Cypriot citizenship if the applicant invests €2.000.000 by way of purchase, establishment or participation in businesses or organizations based and operating in Cyprus. The business must have a tangible presence in Cyprus and must have at least 5 Cypriot or EU citizens as employees. Those employees must also be legally residing in Cyprus for at least five years.
- Investment in Government Bonds & Financial Assets
If the applicant has AIFs or alternative investment funds such as bonds, debentures, and other securities, etc.; and financial assets of Cypriot businesses licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange commission, then the applicant can be eligible for Cypriot citizenship. The investment must be of at least €2.000.000.
- Deposits in Cypriot Banks
Having a personal fixed deposit of a minimum of €2.000.000 for at least three years in any of the banks in the Republic of Cyprus is another eligibility criterion. The applicant can also qualify if he holds deposits of €2.000.000 with a privately owned company or trust in which he is a beneficial owner.
- Combination of the criteria mentioned above
The applicant can also make a collective investment amounting to €2.000.000 by combining the above routes under the condition that minimum investment in government bond must be €500.000
Cyprus citizenship investor programs are a family deal. Your spouse and children can also gain the citizenship along with you without additional conditions. Your parent however can apply as package deal with the condition that they own a separate permanent residence valued €500.000.
If the applicant is above 30 years of age, has a clean criminal record, a permanent residence value at €500.000 in Cyprus and qualifies any of the above conditions, she/he can easily gain a Cyprus Citizenship in a few months. Please note that permanent residence(s) can be part of your investment conditions on real estate.
If you are interested in applying for Cypriot citizenship feel free to contact CX Financia at [email protected] or +357 22 323461.