Quick facts

  • Location: Eastern Mediterranean Island
  • Total area: 9,251 km2
  • Capital: Nicosia
  • Currency: EURO
  • Government: Presidential Republic
  • Population: 1,172,458 (est. 2014)
  • Language: Greek and Turkish (official), English widely spoken
  • Religions: Christians Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other 4%
  • Visa-free or visa on arrival countries and territories: 158 

Back to top

Advantages of Citizenship

  • Cyprus is a member state of EU.
  • Most attractive tax system in Europe. Dividend income, most international transactions, profits from overseas permanent establishments and profits from the sale of securities are exempt from tax. Also, there is no withholding tax on dividend, interest and royalties paid from Cyprus.
  • Cyprus is in the “white list” of OECD.
  • Rich and diverse culture
  • Mild Mediterranean climate
  • High standard of education
  • Cyprus has a comprehensive, business-friendly, modern and forward-looking legal and regulatory framework based on English Common Law principles.
  • Clean and healthy environment with a high standard of living. Cyprus combines an international competitive business environment with a pleasurable and balanced way of life. The UNDP Human Development Index Report 2013 ranked Cyprus 31st out of 187 countries for the quality of life.
  • Advanced infrastructure
  • Strategic location, easy travelling to most important destinations of the World.
  • Citizenship for whole family including dependent kids up to 21 years old.
  • No interview requirement

Back to top

Timeframe of procedure

Applications for the acquisition of Cyprus citizenship under the Cyprus Investment Programme is one of the fastest to lead to citizenship in Europe and usually takes 6-9 months.

Back to top

Requirements to the applicant

  • Clean Criminal Record:

The applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his/her name must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the European Union, have been frozen as the result of sanctions. Moreover, an applicant whose application for citizenship in any other Member-State of the European Union has been rejected, is not eligible to apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through this Scheme.

  • Residence in the Republic of Cyprus:

In all cases listed in Part A above, the applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. It is noted that members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000 per each applicant. In case that the purchase value of the permanent privately owned residence in Cyprus exceeds the amount of €500,000, part of this additional amount can be used for purposes supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria of Part A above. Additionally, it is noted that if the applicant has invested in housing unit/units, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000, plus VAT, provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life. It should be noted however, that if the applicant has invested in housing units that have already being used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Scheme, the above provision will be in force provided that the total amount of the investments, including the privately-owned residence, is at least €2,5 million.

  • Residence Permit in Cyprus:

The applicant, during his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen will also apply for a residence permit in Cyprus. This can be done simultaneously with the application for naturalization. However, the application for naturalisation will not be examined until 6(six) months have been completed of the applicant being a holder of a Cyprus permanent residence permit.

  • Schengen Visa:

The applicant must be a holder of a valid Schengen visa unless the applicant is a citizen of a European Union Member State or a third-country national who does not require an entry visa for travelling in European Union Member-States.

Back to top

Cyprus Investment Program

On the 13th of February 2019, the Council of Ministers of Cyprus has issued its latest policy in  respect to the criteria for the Cyprus Investment Programme (“Programme”) based on which non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/ investors and members of their families may submit applications in accordance with the provisions of the said Programme. Please note that between the 26th of February 2019 and 14th of May 2019 only specific special requirements apply supplementary to the existing citizenship scheme whereas as from the 15th of May 2019 the existing citizenship scheme is replaced in full by the new scheme.

Back to top

General Criteria

  • Only the first 700 applications for the Programme will be approved per year;
  • The investment must be made in the last 3 years prior to the date submission of the application;
  • The investment must be kept for 5 years from the date of naturalization;
  • In the event of investing in development of properties under construction, the required period of 3 years will commence on the date that the town-planning permit is issued;
  • A high –ranking senior manager may apply for the Programme provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues of at least EURO 100.000 over a 3 year period provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid;

Back to top

Investment options

  • Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects:
    The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2,0 million for the purchase or construction of buildings or for the construction of other land development projects (residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector) or other infrastructure projects.
  • Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses: The applicant should have made a purchase or should have participated in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million including the shipping sector. It should be noted that any investment in the shipping sector will be assessed by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry jointly. The applications shall be evaluated to verify that the companies or organizations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or citizens of European Union Member-States.
  • Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or Registered Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec: The applicant should have bought units of at least €2,0 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed/registered and supervised by the CySec and whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this Scheme or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance. It is permitted for these AIFs or RAIFs to invest in secondary market stock-market values of the Cyprus Stock Exchange an amount that does not exceed the €200.000. It should be noted however, that the purchase by an AIF or RAIF of units of other AIFs or RAIFs is not considered eligible. As such investment must be held by the applicant for at least 5(five) years, the manager or auditor of the Fund shall be obliged to inform in writing on an annual basis, the Ministry of Finance with reference to the value of the initial investment. The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisations of at least €2,0 million, such as bonds, bills and securities, issued with the approval of the CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus, and have as a purpose the financing of the investment plans of these companies or organisations exclusively in Cyprus, based on an investment plan, fall under this criterion.
  • Combination of the aforementioned investments: The applicant may proceed with a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2,0 million.

Financial criteria

Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation:

(a)    The applicant must have donated at least €75.000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation. It is noted that if the applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000, this additional amount will be calculated towards the total amount of the applicant’s investment made on the basis of the Investment Criteria.  Should it be the case that the applicant invested at least €75.000 in a certified innovative enterprise or certified social enterprise the obligation towards the Research and Innovation Foundation will be lifted provided that the relevant certificate by the Ministry of Finance has been obtained by such enterprise or certified social enterprise. The obligation towards the Research and Innovation Foundation will also be lifted if the applicant proceeded with an investment of a total amount of equal to the 20% of the required investment amount in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus, and whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (excluding constructions), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources.

(b)   The applicant must have donated at least €75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing, but also for the materialization of other housing schemes/measures. It is noted that if the applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000, this additional amount will be calculated towards the total amount of the applicant’s investment.

Back to top

Additional residence options for High Networth individuals

Permanent Residence Permit – Category F
Certain categories of third country nationals referred to in Regulation 5 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations of 1972 may make an application to obtain an Immigration Permit, the most popular of which is Category F Permanent Residence Permit.
The Permanent Residence Permit is available for third country nationals who have at their disposal a secured income, high enough to allow a decent living in Cyprus, without having to work in Cyprus. This Permit is granted to the applicant and his spouse till the rest of their lives unless the holder of this Permit was granted permanent Residence permit in another country (other than the country of his nationality) or he did not visit Cyprus for a period longer than 2 years continuously.
Holders of Permanent Residence Permits may at any time, inter alia, enter and remain for any period in the Republic of Cyprus without the requirement of a visitor’s visa.
In terms of procedure, there are two routes to obtain this permit, either by the standard Category F application (Regulation 5(f)) which takes approximately 5- 12 months or via the fast track procedure which takes about two months.
1. Standard Application for Permanent Residence Permit Category F
As explained above, this type of permit is granted to those third country nationals, who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession in Cyprus. This income must come from legal sources from abroad (e.g. pensions, permanent deposits, business activities, ownership of companies, shares etc.).The minimum annual income required is €9,568.17 for a single applicant and €4,613.22 for every dependent person, but the Civil Registry and Migration Department may demand additional amounts as necessary. These additional amounts might come from annual maintenance expenses of the property, educational, medical and other needs of the family in each particular case. It is always necessary to take into consideration all the needs of the family of the applicant and to offer solid evidence that the applicant is able to cover all those needs in the future. Given the fact that a Category F permit is granted only once, the Immigration Authorities will take all steps necessary to examine and will need to be satisfied as to the stability and reliability of annual income over a long period of time. Depositing a minimum amount of EURO 30.000 in one of the banks of Cyprus usually facilitates the process of the application.The most important criteria to be met can be reiterated as follows:

  • Applicants should have at their disposal a secured minimum annual income of approximately EURO 30.000 from sources other than employment in Cyprus.
  • The applicant must have enough money to cover all the expenses of all members of his family The necessary minimum income, if applicable, is increased by approximately EURO 5.000 for each dependant.
  • This income comes from abroad (documentation is required that supports that all funds have been transferred from abroad to Cyprus) and from legal sources.
  • This income is secured, reliable and consistent on a long run and this income will be maintained in time.
  • Where the applicant resides abroad, a criminal record certificate issued by the authorities in the country of origin must accompany the application and this record should show that in general, the applicant shall not constitute a threat against public order or security in Cyprus.
  • Applicants should not intend to work or be engaged in any form of business in Cyprus and a written statement to this effect should accompany the application.
  • If there are reasonable grounds for believing that the applicant or any of his dependents might become an unreasonable burden on the social assistance resources of the Republic of Cyprus, then his application will be rejected.

Fast-track Procedure for granting Permanent Residence permit
As from the decision of the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus on 7/05/2009, when a third country national buys a property/residence for himself and his family of at least €300.000,00 and more, his application for Permanent Residence Permit, Category F (as described above) will be examined favourably. The criteria to be met and the supporting documentation required for an individual to be eligible to obtain a permanent residence permit in Cyprus, through the fast-track procedure, are the following:
• A property/ residence must be purchased in Cyprus.
• Purchasers could be just the applicant or just his spouse or the applicant and his spouse together or a Cyprus Company of which the applicant is an Ultimate Beneficial Owner.
• The purchase price of the property/residence must be at least EURO 300.000,00 (not including VAT).
• At least EURO 200.000,00 (not including VAT) of the purchase price must have been paid to the Vendor as at the date of the application.
• Proofs of transfer of EURO 200.000,00 (not including VAT) from abroad must accompany the application.
• The Contract of Sale must be deposited at the Land Registry.
• The applicant must deposit EURO 30.000,00 in a Cypriot Bank account and this amount must remain blocked for at least 3 years. Documentation which supports that such amount has been transferred from abroad to Cyprus must accompany the application.
• Applicants must have at their disposal a secured minimum annual income of at least EURO 30.000,00 from sources other than employment or engagement in business in Cyprus.
• The applicant must have enough money to cover all the expenses of all members of his family. The necessary minimum income, if applicable, is increased by EURO 5.000,00 for each dependant.
• Applicants should not intend to work or be engaged in any form of business in Cyprus and a written declaration to this effect should accompany the application.
• Noteworthy to mention that a permanent resident who has resided in Cyprus for at least 7 years may apply to acquire a Cyprus citizenship provided that he/she fulfils certain other preconditions.

Back to top