Updated: September 23, 2023
The Council of Ministers decided to suspend the existing Cyprus citizenship by investment program. The decision is valid from November 1, 2020. All pending applications will continue to be examined; no new applications will be accepted. Please check our Cyprus residency by investment program page for the alternative way to get a Cyprus investor visa.
The recent amendments to the Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception Scheme established the Cyprus Investment Programme (CIP) in 2018. The Cyprus government has formulated a citizenship scheme aimed at high-net-worth individuals and investors.
The program grants Cyprus Citizenship by investment to successful applicants and their families in 6 months. Individuals seeking the second passport have to invest €2.2 million in Cyprus economy and meet some additional criteria.
According to the Council of Ministers Decisions (dated 13.09.2016 and subsequent decision 21.05.2018), non-Cypriot Investors can acquire Cyprus Citizenship by Naturalization and the Cyprus Passport for them and their families (by the exception based on the Civil Registry Laws of 2002 - 2017).
The benefits of Cypriot citizenship include:
No visa requirements for all the EU member states, Canada and Australia, amongst others. Check the full list of visa-free countries for Cyprus citizens in our publication.
The education system in Cyprus is well known for its high quality and standards. There are many English-speaking private schools and Universities which provide many Education opportunities. Also, a Cyprus citizen can have access to European Universities and apply for EU grants as an EU Citizen.
In 2023 it is impossible to apply for Cyprus citizenship by investment program since it was suspended in 2020. Previously the following criteria were used for investors looking for Cypriot citizenship:
A1. Investment in real estate, land development, and infrastructure projects:
€1.5 million (plus VAT, if any)
(Can even be a single primary residence for €2M)
€2 million (plus VAT, if any)
A2. Purchase or establishment, or participation in Cypriot companies or businesses
for €2 million
A3. Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organisations that CySec licenses
A4. Combination of the investments mentioned above.
In addition to the required investments to proceed as follows:
The above obligation is lifted If the applicant has made an investment under the criterion for Purchase / Establishment / Participation in Cypriot Companies of a total amount equal to at least €400.000 in a company active within the primary or secondary sector of the economy (excluding constructions), or in the industries of research and development, education, health, and renewable energy sources.
Α.1 Investment in real estate, land development, and infrastructure projects
The applicant must have invested at least €2,0 million to purchase or construct buildings or create other land development projects (residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector) or other infrastructure projects.
It is noted that investment in land under development is included in this criterion, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased area will be included in the application. It is understood that investment in land in a building zone of zero development is excluded.
Α.2 Purchase or establishment or participation in Cypriot companies or businesses
The applicant should have purchased or participated in companies or organisations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million. The invested funds shall be channelled towards financing the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan. The applications shall be evaluated to verify that the companies or organisations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriots or citizens of European Union member-states. The minimum number of employees shall increase if more than one applicant invests simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same business or company. Also, the employees of the companies need to have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application submission date.
Α.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organisations that CySec licenses
The applicant should have bought units of at least €2,0 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed and supervised by the CySec and whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this Programme or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance. To confirm that the investments that meet the criteria of the current Programme will be kept for at least five years, the manager or the auditor of the Fund shall inform, in writing and on an annual basis, the Ministries of Finance and Interior regarding the value of the initial investment.
The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations 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 organizations exclusively in Cyprus, based on an investment plan, fall under this criterion.
It is noted that the purchase by an AIF of units of other AIFs is not considered eligible.
Α.4 Combination of the investments mentioned above
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.
The application can be submitted on behalf of the applicants only by persons registered with the Registry of Service Providers of the Cyprus Investment Programme regulated by the Committee of Supervision and Control for the CIP.
Our Law Firm is duly registered with Registry No.110.
As mentioned above, it is required that before naturalisation as a Cypriot citizen, the applicant must hold a permanent residence permit in Cyprus for 6 months.
This application can be made simultaneously with the CIP application without other documents. For the issuance of the PRP, the applicants must be present in Cyprus to submit their biometric data (fingerprints and photograph) and signatures. After collecting the biometric data, the Immigration Permit (card) is issued within five working days.
1. Curriculum Vitae (CV) for the investor, spouse & adult children.
2. Birth Certificate for the applicant, spouse & children (official and certified translation*).
3. Criminal Record Certificate for the investor, spouse & adult children from the country of origin and the country of residence (if different) (official and certified translation*).
4. Marriage Certificate (official and certified translation*).
5. 2 Passport size photos for each family member.
6. Adult Children - Certificate of attendance by an academic institution (original).
7. Due Diligence Report issued through an internationally accepted database.
The documents with (*) must be translated into English and bear the «APOSTILLE» Stamp. OR be certified by the Ministry of foreign affairs of the country that will issue them, the Cyprus Embassy of that country, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cyprus.
The translation should be done by the Press and Information Office or by a Consular Authority of the issuing country, or by a governmental department/service of the issuing country.
We provide guidance and representation through all the procedures until the approval and issuance of the Cyprus passports.
Our immigration lawyers would be happy to meet or provide additional information and give you a detailed description of the process and our services. Feel free to contact us for a consultation by phone at +35725368683 or by email email@example.com.
Our managing partner Marios Konstantinou is also available on any messenger for direct consultation. Additional information can be found on the Contact us page.
The cost of the Cyprus Investment Program is 2m euros plus the donation of €200.000, and it does not include the following government fees for the citizenship application:
CIP application submission fee
Certificate issuance fee
Adult children & parents (each)
Passport issuance fee (each)
Identity card issuance fee (each)
Investor / investor’s spouse / children under 18
€500 for all
€70 for each person for registration
Adult children & parents (each)
€70 for registration
Which other family members are entitled to obtain citizenship of Cyprus along with an investor under the program: spouse, children, parents?
An applicant and other dependent family members – spouse, minor children (under age 18), and financially dependent adult children (students under age 28) obtain citizenship. Parents can also get Cyprus Citizenship by buying a property for a minimum of €500,000 if their children have already acquired it. In other words, parents are NOT required to make a full investment of €2 million. Only a house or apartment purchase for a minimum amount of €500,000 is enough.
Are there any requirements for an investor related to living in the country before obtaining citizenship?
There are no requirements.
Is it required to pass a Greek language proficiency test or exam in the history of Cyprus as a condition for obtaining citizenship of Cyprus?
No, it is not required.
Is a passport of a citizen of Cyprus a full-value passport of a European Union member state?
Yes, that is precisely so.
Is an investor required to reside in Cyprus after he/she has obtained citizenship to retain it?
No, you are not required to reside in Cyprus.
What tax burdens are imposed on an investor after obtaining Cypriot citizenship? Will the investor be required to pay taxes on income from sources located abroad?
No new or additional tax liabilities arise for the investor unless he opts to become a Cyprus tax resident, i.e., to spend 183 days in Cyprus (or more days than in any other jurisdiction). Cyprus tax residents who are NOT DOMICILED in Cyprus means they have not been Cyprus tax residents for 17 years out of the last 20, by the July 16, 2015 tax legislation, will now NOT BE SUBJECT to taxes on dividends, rental income, and bank deposit interest on a worldwide income and income generated in Cyprus.
Can I include my family in my application?
Yes. All investment options for citizenship allow for dependents. ‘Dependent’ refers to: (1) children under the age of 18, (2) children between the age of 18 and 25 who are full-time students and financially dependent on the principal applicant, and (3) parents or grandparents over the age of 65 years old, if they are living with or fully supported by the main applicant. Neither the spouse nor the children must make any additional financial investments.
Am I required to live in Cyprus?
No. Cyprus does not require you to be present or reside in Cyprus before or after the approval of your CIP application.
Is the purchase of private property necessary to meet the law requirements when obtaining citizenship for investors?
Yes, that is just so. Regardless of the criterion based on which an investor will prefer to apply, the law provides for the purchase of property for private use, the value of which is at least €500,000+VAT.
Suppose I bought a residential villa as an investment. Should I buy an additional private property worth at least €500,000?
Buying additional private real estate is not required if you purchased one residential property worth €2 mln. You don't have to purchase other properties if you bought several residential properties of the same amount. The investment may be sold after five years; however, the investor must always maintain a property valued at least €500,000.
Please, advise whether I lose entirely or partly invested money.
You lose nothing. After five years (minimum investment duration), you can sell investment properties and return your invested money.
Suppose I have purchased a villa, the value of which is €2 million. But I am not going to live in it. Can I sell it as soon as I obtain citizenship?
Regarding the sale of your villa, the law provides for such an option only five years after purchase. Within the first five years, you can sell your €2 million villas but must maintain your €2 million investment. That means when you sell, you must simultaneously buy one home for the amount of €2 million or multiple residential units for the total amount of €2 million. If you purchase numerous residential units, at least one must be a minimum of €500,000. For example, you can buy a Villa for €500,000 and 15 apartments for €100,000 each, a total of €2,000,000. After five years, you can sell your properties provided that you always keep on your name one house or apartment which you purchased for a minimum €500,000.
Investments must be made personally, or can they be made through the company/companies of the investor, an investment fund, or a foundation?
Investment through a company or fund, or foundation is eligible, provided a proven correlation exists between the investor and the company or fund, or foundation.
Regarding the real estate purchase, are transfer fees included in the amount of €2,0 million?
The transfer fees are not included in the investment amount, as no other charges or taxes are.
Is real estate investment for CIP restricted to new properties, or can I invest in resale properties (real estate sold for the second time) and be considered a suitable investment?
According to the Council of Ministers’ Decision, the eligible investment is not limited to properties purchased for the first time. So, you can invest in any property, resale or new. The difference between new properties is that you pay 5% to 19% Value Added Tax (VAT), which is not refundable or considered part of your investment.
Will my citizenship expire?
No. When you acquire Cyprus citizenship through investment under the program, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.
Does Cyprus allow dual citizenship?
Yes, it does.
Can the residential property be sold or rented out once Citizenship is granted?
Since the Investor is not required to reside in Cyprus, renting out their privately-owned residence is possible. Replacing the residential property with another property of the same value is also possible.
What does it mean: “The applicant should have concluded the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for at least five years since the date of the Naturalization?”
It means that to file a Naturalization application by the provisions of this Scheme, the investor must have concluded the investment during the three years preceding the submission date of the said application. That is to say, if the applicant applied in 2019, the investment must have been concluded during the period 2016 – 2019. Furthermore, the investor must retain the investment for at least five years after acquiring citizenship. The five-year period begins on the date of the approval of the application by the Council of Ministers.
Is the VAT included in the investment amount or the amount of the €500.000 purchase value of the privately-owned residence?
The VAT is neither included in the amount of Investments nor the amount of €500.000 required as a minimum purchase value of the privately-owned residence.
What amount is considered if there is a difference between the market value and the real estate's purchase value?
The purchase value.
Can real estate sold for a second time be considered an investment to apply for citizenship?
According to the Council of Ministers’ Decision, the eligible investment is not limited to properties purchased for the first time.
Can the investor rent to someone else his/ her privately-owned residence?
Can the investor sell his/her privately-owned residence and purchase a different one of the same or higher purchase value?
Yes, provided that he/she will buy a different residence of equal or higher purchase value.
Are there any changes in Cyprus Investment Programme in 2019 compared to 2018?
The Council of Ministers revised the CIP on 13/02/2019. The new provisions are valid from the 15th of May 2019. The investment criteria mainly remain the same. We have the introduction of a mandatory donation of €75.000 to the Land Development Corporation and another donation of €75.000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation, which can be waived under specific criteria. Also, the applicants must hold a valid Schengen visa. For complete guidance on the new provisions of the program, please read our article.
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