IN464 - Fast Track Cyprus Citizenship by Investment and the Benefits it Offers

Cyprus Citizenship by Investment is rapidly becoming one of the EU’s most popular residence schemes.

  • A fast track procedure exists for non Cypriot citizens (and their families) to acquire Cyprus Citizenship by investing €2.5 million* in Cyprus.
    *€2.0 million in one set of circumstances as detailed in the financial criteria.

A non-Cypriot citizen who meets one of the financial criteria detailed below can apply for Cypriot citizenship ‘through naturalization by exception’.

  • A Cyprus passport will be received between three and six months after the application if the correct documentation is filed and it has been completed accurately.
  • There is no requirement to physically reside in Cyprus either before or after obtaining Citizenship.

What Does Cyprus Citizenship Offer?

Cyprus is a member of the EU and the following benefits are therefore available: 

Free movement of people: A Cyprus citizen can travel, work and reside freely within the EU.

Free movement of services: Cyprus citizens and their companies can freely offer services within the EU.

Free movement of capital: Funds can be freely transferred between EU Member States.

Free movement of goods: Goods produced within the EU can be transferred between Member States.

Financial Criteria

The minimum investment is €2.5 million.

  • €500,000 of the minimum investment must be in a residential property.

Investments can be made in the following:

  • Investment in the Financial Assets of Cypriot Companies or Cypriot Organisations that are licensed by CySec

The applicant must purchase the financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organisations with a minimum value of €2 million.

This companies must have a physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus.

OR

  • Purchase, Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Businesses or Companies

The applicant must make an investment of at least €2 million in the purchase, establishment or participation in businesses or companies that are based and operating in Cyprus. These businesses or companies must have a tangible presence in Cyprus and employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens.

OR

  • Investment in Real Estate, Land Development or Infrastructure Projects

The applicant must make an investment with a minimum value of €2 million in the purchase or construction of buildings or other land development projects.

If the investment is made ONLY in residential property and one property is worth at least €500,000, and is a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus that will be retained for life, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus is NOT be required. This therefore reduces the total contribution required to meet this financial criteria to €2 million (rather than the €2.5 million for each of the other criteria).

OR

  • Investment in Government Bonds

The applicant must purchase Cyprus state bonds up to a maximum value of €500,000. These bonds must be retained for a minimum of three years. This investment option can only form part of the “Combination of the Above Criteria” detailed below.

OR

  • A Combination of the Above Criteria

The applicant must meet a combination of the above criteria, with the total investment amounting to at least €2 million.

Additional Criteria 

  • The applicant and family members must prove that they have a clean criminal record from their country of origin and/or the Cyprus police.
  • The applicant’s name must not be included on the list of individuals whose property has been frozen within the EU.
  • The applicant must visit Cyprus at least once for administrative reasons (collection of biometric data).

Additional Features and Advantages of Cyprus Citizenship by Investment

  • Members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this property equals a minimum of €500,000 per applicant.
  • The application for the investor’s spouse must be submitted at the same time as the application for the investor. Once approved, applications for any children then follow. Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any financial criteria.
  • There is no language test.

Cypriot Citizenship

  • The applicant, must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for at least 6 months prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen.
  • If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit at the same time as the application for naturalization.
  • The application is submitted to the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Finance to assess the financial criteria. Once the application is assessed by the two Ministries the application is then presented to the Council of Ministers to grant approval for the Citizenship application.

How Long Does the Process Take?

A Cyprus passport will be issued a maximum of six months after the application. As soon as the application is approved and Citizenship is granted, the applicant’s passport is issued and the remaining family members are able to apply for their Citizenship. 

Relevant Tax Information and Tax Benefits

  • If the applicant becomes tax resident in Cyprus (i.e spends more than 183 days in Cyprus in any one calendar year) he/she will be taxed on income arising in Cyprus and also on foreign source income. The foreign tax paid can be credited against the personal income tax liability in Cyprus.
  • A non-dom regime was introduced in Cyprus in 2015 when the Special Defence Contribution (SDC), the Income Tax Law and the Capital Gains Tax Law were amended. SDC imposes tax on income received from dividends, interest and rental income. It was amended to exempt individuals tax resident in Cyprus (but non-domiciled) from tax on dividend, interest and rental income.
  • Capital gains tax is imposed at a rate of 20% on gains from the disposal of  immovable property situated in Cyprus, including gains from the disposal of shares in companies that own immovable property, excluding shares listed on a recognised Stock Exchange. Capital gains tax is imposed even if the owner of the property is not a Cyprus tax resident. If the individual is a Cyprus tax resident capital gains tax is not applied to property situated outside Cyprus.

The Application for Cyprus Citizenship by Investment

Dixcart Management (Cyprus) Limited can assist with every step of the process:

  1. Provide advice on the questions and issues that might arise.
  1. Assist with the preparation of the application.
  1. Assist with drafting the relevant documents.
  1. Submit the application to the authorities.
  1. Monitor the application and liaise with the relevant authorities.

Additional Information

If you require any additional information, please speak to your usual Dixcart contact or to the Dixcart office in Cyprus: advice.cyprus@dixcart.com.

Categories: Cyprus, 2017, Dixcart Domiciles