CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP

BENEFITS OF CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP

  • Under certain schemes Cyprus passport and citizenship may be issued within three (3) months;
  • Cyprus citizenship granted to spouse and dependants up to the age of 28 under the naturalization by exemption process;
  • Access to the European Union;
  • Professional financial and tax planning services based on British practices;
  • No inheritance tax;
  • Low Corporate tax; and
  • One of the lowest property taxes in the world.

Our team of experienced professionals work closely with the applicant to ensure the procedure is carried out correctly and efficiently.

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APPLYING FOR CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP

Cyprus citizenship can be acquired by:
1. Marriage,
2. Naturalisation (based on legal residence in Cyprus for a specified number of years),
3. and Naturalisation by exception.

MARRIAGE

Following 3 years of marriage and co-habitation with a Cypriot spouse, a foreign national who has entered and legally resided in Cyprus, can apply for Cypriot Citizenship.

NATURALIZATION

A foreign national legally residing in Cyprus for 7 consecutive years, of full age and capacity, is eligible to apply for Cypriot Citizenship by Naturalization. Foreign nationals who are either parents or children of Cypriot citizens can apply for Citizenship if they have resided in Cyprus for 5 consecutive years.

A number of supporting documentation is required for the purposes of applying for citizenship and the applicant must be available for an interview in which he/she must demonstrate a basic knowledge of the Greek language. The applicant must have continuously and legally resided in Cyprus for 1 year prior to the application.

NATURALISATION OF INVESTORS BY EXCEPTION

As part of its policy to attract foreign investors to Cyprus, in early in 2014 the Council of Ministers issued a decision outlining the process by which non-Cypriot citizens, who meet one of the economic criteria listed below, either personally or through a company/ies in which they participate as a shareholder, may apply for the acquisition of Cyprus citizenship.

1. Investment in Government Bonds:

Purchase of state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus to the value of at least EUR5 million. From the 1st of August 2014 only bonds purchased from the primary market (i.e. directly from the primary market not bonds purchased from existing owners) are eligible.

2. Direct Investments:

Direct investments in Cyprus exceeding EUR 5 million. Direct investments include the following:

a) The purchase or construction of buildings or the construction of other land development projects (residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector or other infrastructure projects);
b) The purchase, registration or participation in business or companies that are based and are active in the Republic of Cyprus, and which must employ at least five (5) Cyprus citizens;
c) Purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations (bonds / securities / debentures registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus)
d) Participation in a company/consortium of companies that has undertaken to carry out a public project.

3. Deposits in Banks:

Personal fixed term deposits for three (3) years in Cypriot Banks or deposits of privately owned companies or trusts (in which he/she is the beneficiary owner) in the Republic of Cyprus of at least EUR 5 million.

Or

4. Combination of Investment in Government Bonds, Direct Investment and Deposits in Cypriot Banks:

A combination of the above amounting to at least EUR 5 million.

5. Where deposits with the Bank of Cyprus or Popular Bank have been impaired due to the measures implemented in both Banks after the 15th March 2013

The impairment in deposits on one or both of the abovementioned Banks amounts to a total of at least EUR 3 million.

In the case where there has been impairment in deposits in one or both of the abovementioned Banks under EUR 3 million an application under the scheme is possible with an additional Direct investment for the balance of the required amount of the said criterion.

Major Collective Investments:

The Council of Ministers may reduce the above criteria (Investment in Government Bonds, Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations, Investment in real estate, land development or infrastructure projects and Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies) to EUR2,5 million for investors, who demonstrably participate in a special collective investment scheme, provided that the total value of the investment is at least EUR12,5 million.

VAT and transfer duties, taxes and/or other charges are not included in the amount of an investment. The purchase value of an applicant’s permanent residence is also not included in the amount of the investment unless the applicant invests in the purchase of a privately – owned residence solely, of a purchase price either €5,0 million, or of €2,5 million.

Other conditions:

1. An applicant must hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the republic of Cyprus, the market value of which must be at least EURO 500.000, plus V.A.T.; and
2. must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, an applicant’s name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the European Union.

Once the applicant is successful Cypriot (EU) citizenship may be granted to the applicant’s spouse as well as to any dependents up to the age of 28. Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any further financial criteria. The spouse of the non-Cypriot investor has the right to apply for citizenship simultaneously with the investor. Applications by the financially dependent adult children of the applicant may only be made after the investor has acquired Cyprus citizenship.

Timeframe

Under the scheme of Naturalisation by Exception Cyprus citizenship can be granted within 3 months.

Naturalised citizens have the same rights and commitments as any other citizens including voting rights, payment of taxes etc.

Naturalised citizens have the same rights and commitments as any other citizens including voting rights, payment of taxes etc.