Cyprus is an island country in the east of the Mediterranean with Nicosia being the capital city. The official languages spoken in Cyprus are Greek and Turkish, with the Euro as the currency. It became a European Union nation on 1st January 2008. It is a small island with a diverse history and culture which makes it the oldest civilization of the Mediterranean Region. Cyprus is divided into the North and South. They are called the ‘Turkish Republican of Northern Cyprus’ and ‘Independent Republic of Cyprus’ respectively. Cyprus is an important tourist place and has a low crime rate, which makes it one of the safest places in the world and has hot and dry summers and cool winters. Its major industries are tourism, textiles, metal products, food and beverage, and ship repairs to name a few.
As the world moves towards a more globalized environment, with people seeking relaxation, business and entertainment outside of their native countries, the concept of securing a second citizenship has gained in popularity. Certain countries are offering citizenship based on investment programs, thereby increasing investment in the country and gaining an association with high net worth individuals. Among the nations offering a second citizenship in a quick and efficient manner is Cyprus, an ideal destination with a burgeoning economy and plenty of scenic locales to suit all kinds of people.
The Cyprus government encourages investors from all over the globe to apply for Cyprus citizenship by residency to ensure that its goal to increase foreign investment is met. Cyprus citizenship through residency encourages high net worth and rich individuals to apply for residency through direct investment in profitable business ventures. The current time required to process Cyprus citizenship through investment is around 6 months and through permanent residency is 3 months.
Cyprus Passport: An Overview
The Cyprus passport is powerful and holds a strong position on the global passport index, enabling passport holders to travel visa-free to 122 countries and with a visa on arrival to 39 countries. Persons holding a Cyprus passport get the liberty to travel freely and stay in any states of the EU, acting as a bridge to get an entry in the other EU nations. A Cyprian passport entitles the passport holder to a host of travel, employment, education, tax, retirement, and health benefits.
Why Should An Applicant Choose Cyprus And Its Residency?
- It is the fifth best destination in the world to acquire citizenship according to various reports and lifestyle reviews.
- It has a beneficial tax regime for newly acquired citizenship holders.
- It is a sunny destination with sunshine for almost the entire year, making the climate suitable for all age groups.
- Cyprus citizenship through residency will give the applicant access to travel across the whole of Europe without visa hassles.
- Cyprus has made the procedure and requirements for permanent residency easier with a goal of increasing foreign capital in the country through direct investment.
- It is geographically located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia.
- Cyprus has a presidential economy, making it stable and safe.
- English is the language majorly spoken in Cyprus, making trade and business easier and more efficient.
- Cyprus citizenship through residency gives the applicant the benefit of enrolling their children in the best private and public schools and well-renowned universities.
- It is an excellent choice for the old family members of the main applicant as Cyprus boasts of exceptional healthcare facilities.
- It has a low cost of living with property that is reasonably priced and has a network of well-established telecommunication and air services.
- A large population of Cyprus is the expatriate community making it an ideal destination for expatriates.
- The people of Cyprus are hospitable and welcoming, which is one of the important factors to be considered for choosing residency in a new place.
- It’s not necessary for the applicant to be physically present in Cyprus and the candidate has to travel only to fulfil certain legal requirements.
- Cyprus allows dual citizenship, so applicants won’t be required to give up their native citizenship if dual citizenship is also allowed by the host country.
- Children can avail of excellent quality of education in any one of the EU nations.
- Free trade within the EU.
- There are no specific language requirements.
- Cyprus is a major tourist destination and has a high-income economy and is a member of the Commonwealth.
- The Republic of Cyprus is a member of a number of international groups making it a favorable place for international trade and positive human and trade relations.
Common Ways of Acquiring Cyprus Citizenship
Each procedure of acquiring Cyprus citizenship through residency has its pros and cons and the applicant can select the option that works best for their interests and capacity. Here is a list of options.
- Citizenship by having a Cypriot origin
- Cyprus citizenship by marrying a spouse of Cyprus origin
- Cyprus citizenship by naturalization
- Cyprus citizenship through investment
- Immigration and acquiring permanent residency through investment
Cyprus Citizenship By Cypriot Origin
The main criteria for this means of citizenship is that the applicant should be a Cypriot by birth or have parents that are Cypriot. There are different types of application like Type M71, Type M72, Type M123, Type M124c, and consular birth certificate. These applications depend on the applicant’s date of birth, citizenship held and citizenship of blood relations like mother and father. Depending on the above criteria a candidate becomes eligible for obtaining citizenship in Cyprus.
Cyprus Citizenship by Marrying Cypriot Citizen
To acquire Cyprus citizenship under this option, one can apply for citizenship after completing three years of marriage with a spouse who must be a legal resident of Cyprus. One can still apply for citizenship even if their spouse is abroad for work or other reasons and they have an offspring together and are married for more than 5 years. In case they don’t have a child from the marriage, an explanation letter has to be provided stating the reason for the non-availability of the spouse.
Cyprus Citizenship Through Naturalization
This is one of the most accepted and common ways to pursue Cyprus citizenship by residency.
There are two ways to obtain Cyprus citizenship through naturalization which are Cyprus citizenship by investment in real estate or Cyprus immigration and permanent residency via investment. The government of Cyprus has made amendments in the Cyprus Investment Program that lets each applicant select an option from a number of legally approved investments. The applicant has to keep in mind that whatever may be the mode of acquiring Cyprus citizenship by investment, the candidate has to compulsorily make donations to the Research foundation and Cyprus Land Development Corporation. This amendment has come into force from March 2019.
The main applicant for Cyprus residency through investment should fulfill certain criteria to be eligible for the program.
- The main applicant should be over 18 years.
- Should have a clear criminal record.
- Should not have faced any rejections for the application to other EU countries.
- The applicant’s assets should be legally sanctioned within the EU nations.
- The applicant should have a Schengen visa, unless he is an EU citizen and has visa free travel to the Schengen area.
- Should hold a Cypriot resident permit for not less than 6 months before being naturalized.
- Should make an investment during the three years preceding the date of application made for Cyprus citizenship through investment and should maintain the investment for at least 5 years.
Cyprus citizenship by investment is costly but the benefits that follow once the citizenship is acquired are definitely worth the investment. The investment one makes is for a world of new opportunities and relations which won’t only benefit them but also their generations to come. It is one of the best decisions that one can make for significant business advantages and family welfare.
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment in Real Estate Property
To obtain Cyprus citizenship by investment, the main applicant has to invest at least €2 million for a period of not less than 3 years either for purchasing or constructing real estate. The investment amount can be reduced to €50,000 after the 3-year tenure but should be permanently maintained. The procedure for Cyprus citizenship by investment has been made easy and hassle free for a fast citizenship procedure and to encourage foreign investment. The purchase of land can either be residential, infrastructure, commercial developments, or developments in the tourism sector.
The main applicant under the Cyprus Investment Program needs to make an investment of €150,000 in donations, €2 million in investments and €500,000 + Value Added Tax for private residential property. An applicant who decides to invest through a fixed residential unit is given an exemption of donations and investments.
These investments are only considered legal on completion of certain rules and regulations.
- The architect of the site should have issued a certificate of completion.
- In case of properties where the deed is still not clear, the property should have been granted a planning permit.
- In case of a purchase of mortgaged property, the applicant should receive a declaration from the seller that the mortgage has been waived after the payment of the dues.
- In case of a property under construction, the seller must issue a bank guarantee in favor of the investor.
A non–Cypriot citizen has to meet the following investment criteria along with fulfilling contributions through donations:
- A €75,000 donation in the Research and Innovation Fund or any other legally certified enterprise.
- Donation of €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.
Before applying for Cyprus Citizenship through investment the main applicant should:
- Hold a Cypriot residency permit for at least 6 months before gaining citizenship through naturalization.
- Should have purchased a lifetime resident privately for a minimum of €500,000 plus VAT.
This investment should have been made during the three years preceding the application of citizenship and the investment has to be held for 5 years.
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment in a Cypriot Company
The requirements for Cyprus citizenship by investment by purchase or participation in a business or company of Cypriot origin are:
- The applicant needs to invest at least €2 million by purchasing or participating in a business or company.
- The business or company should be based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus.
- The investment should be supported by a legal investment plan.
- The company should have employed at least 5 Cypriot citizens or citizens of European nations.
- These 5 employees should have lived in Cyprus or a European nation for a period of not less than 5 years preceding the submission of the citizenship application.
- If more than one applicant is investing in the same company, the tab on the minimum number of employee’s increases.
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment in Alternative Investment Funds
The purpose of investment in the alternative investment fund is to finance the investment plans of companies exclusively in Cyprus. The requirements are:
- The applicant should have purchased units from alternative investment funds or registered alternative investment funds that are established and licensed by the Republic of Cyprus.
- An investor can alternatively acquire financial assets of other companies and organizations of Cypriot origin in bonds, bills, and securities.
Investment in a Combination of Investments
The applicant can also choose to invest in a combination of the stated investments, the condition being that the amount of investment should be at least €2.5 million.
Cyprus Immigration and Permanent Residency Through Investment
Cyprus citizenship by permanent residency can be obtained even by investing a smaller amount. Permanent residency can be obtained in a short span of 2 months and covers the whole family by investing €3, 00,000 in a property. The residency obtained through the permanent residency by investment program is valid for a lifetime and can be transferred to the candidate’s next generation. The permanent residency enables the applicant to travel freely in the EU.
Features of Cyprus citizenship by permanent residency
- Offers easy travel in the European Union.
- Requires the applicant and family members to visit Cyprus once in a span of 2 years.
- The investment can be divided in not more than 2 properties.
- The value of the property investment should be €300,000.
- It should not be an old property.
Cyprus Dual Citizenship
Cyprus allows citizens to possess dual citizenship provided that certain other conditions are fulfilled and the second country also allows dual citizenship. If the second country also permits dual citizenship, the applicant has the benefit to enjoy dual benefits from both the countries. This provides increased flexibility, especially in cases any kind of upheaval in the applicant’s native country, as he or she has the opportunity to safely reside in the second nation without any immigration hassle by virtue of the second citizenship.
Documents Needed to Apply for Cyprus Citizenship By Investment
Once the applicant has decided the best way of applying for Cyprus citizenship, the following documents need to be in place to start the procedure.
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Marriage certificate of the applicant’s parents
- A certificate stating that the applicant doesn’t have any previous criminal records
- A statement signed in the presence of the Officer or diplomatic authority that is proof that the relationship between the spouses is harmonious and positive
- In case of a couple applying for citizenship and having kids, birth certificates of the children need to be submitted
- A copy of the applicant’s current passport and passport of the applicant’s parents
- A cohabitation certificate from the local authority
- A copy of proof showing that the application fee has been paid with the required stamps
Procedure to Obtain Cyprus Citizenship Through Investment
The procedure to obtain Cyprus citizenship through investment consists of steps which need to be executed carefully with the correct documents and minute structuring, and a detailed focus on investments. Here is how the application process takes place:
The applicant has to submit personal documents such as the passport. The fees for the application also need to be submitted. In case the applicant is taking a loan for the application procedure, the approval has to be cleared at Day 1 of application.
By week 3, the documentation is in place and the candidate has to decide the property for investment. The applicant needs to sign documents and has to clear any pending deposit that has to be made.
By this time, the funds should already be transferred to the Cypriot bank and the investment made for the property is transferred to the assigned lawyer’s account.
Approval is granted at this stage and it is made sure that all the investment made towards property is settled along with the professional charges.
The naturalization certificate and passport is issued for the applicant along with the spouse.
Application is made at the Cyprus Ministry of Interiors and the files of the dependents are also submitted.
It is vital to keep in mind that these timelines are general estimates and it can differ for each application.
Guidance about Cyprus Citizenship Through Residency
There is a significant investment involved in pursuing citizenship and residency of a secondary country, which is why it is best to take the advice and guidance of an experienced agency. Citizenships.com is fully equipped to assist you in obtaining residency and citizenship under different programs. We provide specialized guidance through the complex stages of application of citizenship, tailored to suit your needs.
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