30 March 2021

Cyprus Citizenship by Investment: The Ultimate Guide

Cyprus Citizenship by Investment was established in 2013 with the intention of attracting foreign direct investment and encouraging wealthy individuals to settle and run businesses in Cyprus, in order to boost the country’s economy which had been heavily affected by the financial crisis.

From the very beginning the Cypriot CBI was extremely successful and in just 6 years brought more than €6 billion to the local economy. Nowadays, the program has a reputation of being the fastest and easiest way to obtain a European passport and consequently gain access to all European Union countries. Anyone who meets the requirements can get the citizenship in just 6 months!

CBI in Cyprus: Requirements:

As we mentioned, this program is dedicated to wealthy citizens. However, it is not enough to have the right amount of money to get citizenship – each applicant has to meet the requirements imposed by both: Cyprus and the European Union.
First, the applicant must have no legal problems; his/her assets cannot be frozen and he/she should not be a politically exposed person (PEP) for at least the last 5 years. Furthermore, the applicant cannot be a person who has been rejected by another EU country.

If you meet all these conditions you can move on to fulfill the two mandatory investment obligations, that all applicants must realize.

First, you have to purchase real estate valued at a minimum of €500,000 plus V.A.T. and declare this real estate as your permanent residence. This must be kept for life. Then, you must make two donations of €75,000 each – one to the Research and Innovation Foundation (can be replaced with alternative investments in a certified innovative or social enterprise) and one to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.

Ultimately you will be able to proceed with the main transaction which involves an expenditure of a minimum of €2.150,000 (including the above-mentioned commitments).You can do so through the purchase of residential real estate for at least €1.500,000 or commercial real estate for at least €2.000,000.

This investment must be maintained for at least 5 years. After this time the purchased assets can be sold, but you have to retain a residential property with a minimum value of € 500,000.

The alternative is to make a combined investment of at least €2.650,000 (including the donations and purchase of real estate). With this form of investment you can freely decide where to place your money and combine your investments so that it brings you as much profit as possible.

You can choose between the purchase of real estate (including residential, commercial, infrastructure and land), purchasing Government Bond or Financial Assets, and the purchase of or participation in Cypriot companies or organizations with significant activity and turnover, which employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens. 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 been legally and continuously residing in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application submission date. Please note: Shipping sector investments are eligible under this option.

Transfer money to Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) established and investing exclusively in Cyprus. The AIF or RAIF must be licensed, registered, and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec). Investment must be kept for at least five years; the manager or the auditor of the Fund shall inform annually in writing to the Ministries of Finance and Interior regarding the value of the initial investment.

Application process and timeline

The whole process usually takes about 6 months from the moment of application. However, before submitting your application, one needs to do a little research, make sure you meet all the requirements and review the market to decide which investment is most beneficial. After this, you can move on to the first phase which involves the purchase of a residential apartment and making both donations. When these conditions are met, you will be able to submit the application form. The last phase is the verification process and approval.

Advantages of the Cyprus citizenship

Undeniably, the greatest advantage of this program is the right to live, study and work in any EU Member State. Moreover, with a Cypriot passport you gain access to excellent medical care and EU educational systems, which are well known for their high standards. Cyprus has no language requirements, allows dual citizenship and there are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants. With a Cypriot passport you can travel VISA free to more than 170 countries!

The Cyprus CBI program allows submitting applications together with family members such as: spouse, dependent children under the age of 17, adult children between the ages of 18 to 27 (provided they are students working towards either: a first university degree, or a first graduate degree) and/or parents (for an additional €500,000 per parent).

Send us a note to [email protected] if you want to start the process of citizenship.

Written by Magdalena Wczesna

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