Cyprus citizenship by investment program allows applicants to invest 2 million euros in real estate, business, or other financial instruments. This program allows investors to a fast-tracked path to a European Union (EU) passport. Successful applicants are allowed to work and live anywhere in the EU. Cyprus allows applicants to maintain dual citizenship and citizenship without physical presence in Cyprus. The Cyprus passport allows for visa-free travel to 163 countries. For those who do not require a Cyprus passport, the country offers permanent residency at a low and flexible costs. The program was launched to attract foreign investments after the 2012-13 crisis and has been very successful, attracting large number of investors and stabilizing the Cyprus economy.
Applicants who apply for citizenship by investment are required to hold Cyprus residency for 6 months prior to obtaining citizenship. The paperwork for residency and citizenship by investment can be filed simultaneously without addition investments required by the citizenship by investment program. Residency cards are generally received few days after filing and citizenship applications are approved within 6 months of filing. The 6 months requirement begins from the date of the permanent residency and applicants are allowed to have their passports on the day their 6 months period is complete.
The application process is straightforward and requires documentation for proof of investment, basic personal documents (passport, birth certificate and criminal record certification from country of birth and current residence).
Citizenship By Investment
Investments for citizenship can be made by any one of the following four ways and must be maintained for three years:
Real Estate: This allows applicants to qualify by spending 2 million euros or more on residential, commercial, or other real estate. However, applicants may not qualify by purchasing only land.
Business Investments: In order to qualify using this option, applicants must purchase a business that has a substantial presence in Cyprus. The business must also employ 5 Cypriot citizens or long-term residents with EU citizenship.
Combination of the above: Cyprus allows applicants to combine the above options as long as the total investment amount is 2 million euros.
Applicants are required to purchase a residence in Cyprus for a minimum of 500,000 euros and maintain that residence at all times (even after the expiration of 3 years). Applicants who are investing their 2 million euros in real estate may count their 500,000 euros residential property towards this requirement. This reduces the cost of the applicant by 500,000 euros. Spouses and dependents may be included in the application and the applicant’s parents may qualify too, if they the parents and applicants purchase a joint residence of 1 million euros.
Residency By Investment
Cyprus also has a permanent residency option for those who do not need a passport. At a greatly reduced cost, individuals who can show that they have an annual income of 30,000 euros or more, deposit at least 30,000 euros or more in a Cyprus account and purchase a first-sale residence valued at 300,000 euros or more may qualify for this option. Please note that the amounts may increase depending on the number of dependents on the application. A minimum of 200,000 euros property investment must be made in order to begin the PR application.
Recently, in 2017, Cyprus started a startup up visa program that allows founders of businesses that have 50,000 euros in startup capital to reside for two years. The company is required to spend 10 percent or more of their operating costs on research and development. After the initial two year period, the business owners may qualify for permanent residency as long as the business is successfully creating jobs, paying taxes and making technological strides.