Cyprus: Cyprus Investment Programme - Valid From 15th May 2019

Last Updated: 26 March 2019
Article by Vicky Petrides

One of the main objectives of the economic policy of the Republic of Cyprus is to further encourage foreign direct investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and conduct their business in Cyprus. Key factors that make Cyprus an attractive destination for investment, is the highly specialized human capital, the reliable legislative and regulatory framework, the stable tax system and the safety and stability conditions prevailing in the country. 

Within this framework and taking into account the strong investor interest, the Government of Cyprus has established and revised the "Cyprus Investment Programme" on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2019, with specific incentives, terms and conditions and control procedures in order to prevent abuse. 

On the basis of the Programme, a non-Cypriot citizen may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception, if he/she fulfills the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5, either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/she participates as a shareholder – in proportion to his/her holding percentage, or through investments done by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that fulfills the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5,. 

Moreover, a high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues of at least €100,000 over a three year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid. 

The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least five years as from the date of the naturalization. It is understood that the investor may replace the investment during the said five-year period, provided that he/she has obtained beforehand an approval by the Ministry of Finance. 

In addition, the applicant must fulfill the Terms and Conditions set out in Part B. 

In case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been established that a Criterion, Term or Condition of the Programme has been breached, the granted naturalization may be revoked. None of the clauses mentioned in the Programme affects the absolute discretion of the Cabinet of Ministers on making a decision. 

Α. FINANCIAL CRITERIA 

Α.1 Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation: 

(a) The applicant must have donated at least €75.000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation. It is noted that if the applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000, this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria A.2-A.5. 

Furthermore, the aforementioned obligation is lifted, if the applicant has invested at least €75.000 in a certified innovative enterprise (i.e. an enterprise that had acquired the relevant certificate by the Ministry of Finance) or a certified social enterprise. 

In addition, the obligation is lifted, if the applicant has made an investment under the criterion A.3 (Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses) of a total amount equal to the 20% of the required investment amount (i.e. €400.000) of the above mentioned criterion A.3 in a company whose operations fall within the primary sector of the economy, or the secondary sector of the economy (excluding constructions), or in the sectors of research and development, education, health and renewable energy sources. 

(b) The applicant must have donated at least €75.000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing, but also for the materialization of other housing schemes/measures. It is noted that if the applicant wishes to donate an amount higher than the minimum of €75.000, this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria A.2-A.5. 

Α.2 Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects: 

The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2,0 million for the purchase or construction of buildings or for the construction of 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 land will be included in the application. It is understood that investment in land that is situated in a building zone of zero development, is excluded. 

Α.3 Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses: 

The applicant must have invested at least €2,0 million for the purchase or participation in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of. The invested funds shall be channeled towards the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan. Moreover, investments in the shipping sector are eligible on the basis of measurable criteria that will be determined jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Deputy Ministry. 

The applications shall be evaluated to verify that the companies or organizations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least 5 (five) Cypriot citizens or citizens of European Union member-states. The minimum number of employees shall increase, if more than one applicant invest simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same business or company. 

Α.4 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or Registered Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission: 

The applicant should have bought units of at least €2,0 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed/registered and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (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. It is permitted for these AIFs or RAIFs to invest in secondary market stock-market values of the Cyprus Stock Exchange an amount that does not exceed the €200.000. 

In order to confirm that the investments that meet the criteria of the current Programme will be retained for at least 5 (five) years, the manager or the auditor of the Fund shall inform in writing and on an annual basis, the Ministry of Finance with reference to 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 or RAIF of units of other AIFs or RAIFs is not considered eligible. 

Α.5 Combination of the aforementioned investments: 

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. 

B. TERMS AND CONDITIONS 

1. Clean Criminal Record: the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his/her name must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the European Union, have been frozen as the result of sanctions. Moreover, an applicant whose application for citizenship in any other member-state of the European Union had been rejected, is not eligible to apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Programme. 

2. Schengen Visa: The applicant must hold a valid Schengen visa. Third-Country nationals that do not require an entry visa for travelling in European Union member-states, as well as citizens of European Union Member States are excluded from this obligation. 

It is noted that all the aforementioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 also apply for the family members of the investor that are eligible to apply for the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship. 

3. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. 

It is noted that members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000 per each applicant. 

In case that the purchase value of the permanent privately owned residence in Cyprus exceeds the amount of €500,000, this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria of Part A above. 

Additionally, it is noted that if the applicant has invested in housing unit/units on the basis of the aforementioned criterion A.2, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000, plus VAT, provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life. 

However, if the applicant has invested in housing units that have already being used for the purpose of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship via the Programme, the above provision will be in force provided that the total amount of the investments, including the privately-owned residence, is at least €2,5 million. 

4. Residence Permit in Cyprus: The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for a period of at least 6 (six) months. 

If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalization. The applicant, prior to his/her naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for a period of at least 6 (six) months. 

If the application for acquiring an immigration permit is made solely for purposes of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship, in accordance with the provisions of this Programme, there are no other conditions than those stated in both Part A and Part B of this Programme. 

It is noted that all of the above also apply for the adult members of the family of the investor, who will apply for naturalization. 

In case the application for naturalization is rejected for any reason, the immigration permit, obtained in accordance with the provisions of this decision, will be canceled immediately. 

C. SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS 

For the evaluation of the applications the form (M127) as well as the following documents must be submitted: 

1. Clean Criminal Record: 

(a) Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if different). 

(b) Due Diligence Report issued through an internationally accepted database ensured through a subscription (e.g. Wolrd Check, LexisNexis Diligence, Regulatory DataCorp Inc. etc.). The report must be dated no later than thirty days from the date of its submission.

(c) Declaration by the applicant concerning any citizenship applications he/she may have submitted in any other member-state or member-states of the European Union. 

2. Schengen Visa: 

Copy of a valid Schengen Visa 

3. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus:

(a) Contract of Sale.

(b) Title Deeds or Proof of Registration of the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department. 

(c) Proof of payment of the agreed purchase price. 

(d) Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller's company. 

(e) An evaluation certificate from an independent registered land surveyor, if required by the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Finance. 

(f) Town-planning permit, provided that it is required by the Town and Country Planning Law. 

(g) Declaration by the mortgage lender in the benefit of whom the purchased property or properties is mortgaged that will waive the mortgage, provided that the investor or the seller will pay the lender the amount conscribed in the declaration (bank waiver). 

(h) Project completion certificate signed by the architect of the project. If the purchased property is under construction it is required either to maintain an amount equal to the 5% of the purchase value in a special account or for the seller to issue in the benefit of the purchaser a performance bank guarantee equal to the 5% of the purchase value. 

3. Criteria regarding the investment (when applicable): 

(a) Certificate of Registration of the company/ companies by the Registrar of Companies. 

(b) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies or certificates evidencing that the applicant is the beneficiary owner of the company/ companies.

(c) Audited accounts of the company (or companies) for the last three years preceding the year of the application.

(d) If the applicant is a high-ranking senior manager, the submission of the employment contract and the receipt from the Department of Inland Revenue are additionally required.

(e) If the investment is made by the spouse of the applicant or jointly, a marriage certificate is required. 

Furthermore, depending on the case, the following are required:

1. Donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation 

(a) Copy of the wire transfer of the donation to the Research and Innovation Foundation to an account in a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the Foundation. 

(b) Copy of the wire transfer of the donation to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation to an account in a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the Corporation. 

(c) Innovative enterprise certificate. 

(d) Investment Agreement in Cypriot company or companies. 

(e) Proof of payment of the agreed amount. 

(f) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies. 

(g) Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization. 

(h) Specific investment plan. 

(i) Copies of the employment contracts of the Cypriot or European Union citizens employed by the company in which the applicant has invested. 

(j) Confirmation from the Social Insurance Department as to the insurable income of the Cypriot or European Union citizens employed in the company. 

(k) Registration Certificate (MEU1) or Permanent Registration Certificate of Union Citizen (MEU3) for employees that are European Union citizens.

2. Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects 

(a) Contract of sale. 

(b) Title Deeds or Proof of Registration of the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department. 

(c) Proofs of payment of the agreed purchase price. 

(d) Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller's company. 

(e) An evaluation certificate from an independent registered land surveyor, if required by the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Finance. 

(f) Investment Plan for the development of the purchased land, if the investment involves the purchase of land under development. 

(g) Town-planning permit, provided that it is required by the Town and Country Planning Law. 

(h) Declaration by the mortgage lender in the benefit of whom the purchased property or properties is mortgaged that will waive the mortgage, provided that the investor or the seller will pay the lender the amount conscribed in the declaration (bank waiver). 

(i) Project completion certificate signed by the architect of the project. If the purchased property is under construction it is required either to maintain an amount equal to the 5% of the purchase value in a special account or for the seller to issue in the benefit of the purchaser a performance bank guarantee equal to the 5% of the purchase value. 

3. Purchase or Establishment or Participation in Cypriot Companies or Businesses 

(a) Investment Agreement in Cypriot company or companies. 

(b) Proof of payment of the agreed amount. 

(c) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies. 

(d) Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization. 

(e) Specific investment plan.

(f) Copies of the employment contracts of the Cypriot or European Union citizens employed by the company in which the applicant has invested. 

(g) Confirmation from the Social Insurance Department as to the insurable income of the Cypriot or European Union citizens employed in the company. 

(h) Registration Certificate (MEU1) or Permanent Registration Certificate of Union Citizen (MEU3) for employees that are European Union citizens. 

4. Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or Registered Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission: 

(a) Title/Titles and other relevant documents of the financial assets / units purchased. 

(b) Copy of the wire transfer to a Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the company or the organization. 

(c) Specific investment plan. 

(d) Confirmation by the CySec.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
G. Vrikis & Associates LLC
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
G. Vrikis & Associates LLC
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions