Cyprus enforces the most attractive citizenship scheme for investors in the EU

By a decision approved by the Council of Ministers of Cyprus on 13th September 2016, the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception was amended in order to make Cyprus even more attractive and favourable for foreign investors who wish to obtain the EU passport through investment in Cyprus.

With the new criteria, which will be applicable from 1st November 2016, the minimum necessary amount of investment is €2.000.000. Also, investors will have one of the following options and routes of investment:

1. Investment in Real Estate: such as immovable property, developments and infrastructure projects. Under this investment plan, the applicant must invest at least €2 million for the purchase and/or construction, and/or creation of developments such as commercial projects and/or development in the tourist sector and/or any other infrastructure projects. The total investment must be a minimum of €2 million, provided that one residential property is of at least €500.000 (excluding VAT).

2. Purchase or Incorporation of a Cyprus Company or participation in Cyprus businesses or Cyprus Companies.

The Applicant can invest at least €2 million in order to purchase, incorporate or participate in companies, that have physical presence and activities in Cyprus and employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens who have been legally residing in Cyprus for a continuous period of at least 5 years. The minimum number of employees increases where more than one applicant invests in the same investment.

3. Investment in alternative investment funds (AIFs), financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations.

The Applicant can purchase financial assets of at least €2 million from organizations of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which are registered and whose activities are operated in the Republic of Cyprus and are licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (the CySEC). Any other investments which are approved by the Ministry of Finance may qualify for the present investment scheme.
The administrator and the auditor of the Fund is obliged to report to the relevant Ministries on an annual basis, that the initial investment amount is in place.

Further to the above options:
(1) The applicant should have clean criminal record.
(2) The applicant should own a residential property of at least €500.000 + VAT. Where the purchase price of the residential property exceeds the amount of €500.000 (excluding VAT), the excess amount can be calculated and included in the whole investment.
(3) The applicant has to obtain permanent residency in order to be approved for Cyprus Citizenship.
(4) The applicant’s parents are also entitled to apply for Cyprus citizenship by exception provided that they own a lifetime residence of at least €500.000 (excluding VAT).

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