FAQs: The Cyprus Investment Programme
(formerly Cyprus citizenship by investment programme)
1. What is the Cyprus Investment Programme?
It is the current programme of the Cyprus government to attract foreign investment to Cyprus. In essence it has revised the criteria and conditions of the programme formerly known as Cyprus citizenship by investment where the investor and his or her family members can obtain a Cyprus passport.
2. What is the time frame for the examination of an application?
Approximately six months.
3. Investments must necessarily be made by the investor personally or can they be made through company/companies of the investor or an investment fund or an investment foundation?
An investment through a company or fund or foundation is eligible, provided that there is a proven connection between the investor and the company or fund or foundation.
4. 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 a period of at least three years since the date of the Naturalization?”
It means that for the purpose of filing an application in accordance with the provisions of the current citizenship 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 will submit an application on 30th April 2019, the investment must have been concluded during the period 30th April 2016 to 30th April 2019.
Furthermore, the investor is obliged to retain the investment for at least three years following the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship. The three-year period begins on the date that the certificate of naturalization is issued provided that the investor has sworn before the Court Registrar his oath of allegiance to the Republic of Cyprus.
5. Is the purchase of land an eligible investment under the current programme?
This criterion includes investments for the purchase or construction of buildings, or the creation of other land developments (residential or commercial developments, in the tourism sector or other infrastructure projects). Land with at least a planning permit for its development is also acceptable however a project investment plan may also have to be presented to the Ministry of Interior with the submission of the application setting out how the development is to be executed, where land is the chosen investment vehicle.
6. If there is a difference between the market value and the purchase value of a real estate, which amount is taken into consideration?
The purchase value.
7. Can real estate sold for a second time be considered as an investment for the purposes of applying for citizenship?
According to the contents of the Council of Ministers’ Decision, the eligible investment is not limited to properties purchased for the first time.
8. What if I want to apply for citizenship by investing or purchasing a business? Is such an investment acceptable?
Yes that would be acceptable but the business must have a tangible and real presence in Cyprus. It must operate, have a turnover and employ at least 5 European Union nationals for at least 3 years from the date of naturalization.
9. How is the creation or participation in the companies/businesses proven?
The creation or participation is proven by the purchase of the company shares or through capital increase.
10. Can the investor rent out to someone else his/ her privately-owned residence or any other real estate he purchases as part of his investment portfolio?
Yes this is possible however rent is an income and thus taxable under certain circumstances.
11. Can an investor sell his investments or any part of them before the 3 year retention period expires?
Yes, he/ she may, provided that he/she will replace the investment so that the 2 million euro investment is retained for the 3 years from naturalization.
12. Can an investor applicant for citizenship purchase a residential property with his/her parent?
Yes this is possible. If for example a property is purchased for 1 million euros, €500,000 can be paid by the investor and €500,000 by the parent. In such a case the parent can also apply for citizenship once the applicant is approved.
13. Can my family members become citizens of Cyprus?
Yes, following the naturalization of the investor his or her minor children can be registered as citizens of Cyprus by filing a simple application and paying a small fee to the Civil Registry Department.
Adult children of the investor can also become citizens of Cyprus provided they fulfil certain conditions set.
A spouse or civil partner of the investor is also eligible to apply for Cyprus citizenship, either simultaneously with the investor or after the investor is approved, without the spouse having to make a separate investment.
14. Do I or my family members have to immigrate to Cyprus before we are eligible to apply for citizenship under the CIP?
No, you do not need to immigrate to Cyprus. In the case of adults, one of the requirements is to be a holder of a Cyprus residence permit for six months prior to being approved for citizenship. The applications for a residency permit and for citizenship respectively may be filed on the same day.
15. If I am divorced, will this affect my minor or adult child or children’s eligibility for citizenship?
No, divorce does not affect minor or adult children’s eligibility.