The Cyprus citizenship by investment (CBI) program was launched in 2002 at a price of 5M EUR. It was the first European Union nationality to be accessible via a citizenship by investment program. The program was amended in 2016 to a reduced price of 2M EUR investment for 3 years in addition to holding a valued at 500,000 EUR property for the rest of their lifetime. It also requires the applicant to hold a resident permit for 6 months prior to becoming naturalized. Investors choosing the real estate option will only need to invest 2M EUR for 3 years instead of 2.5M EUR as long as they keep a property worth 500,000 Euro for the remainder of their life.
There are a few options an applicant can choose from:
The applicant must have made an investment of at least 2M EUR 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.
The applicant should have made a purchase or should have participated in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least 2M EUR. 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.
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 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. In addition, the employees of the companies need to have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the 5 years preceding the application submission date.
The applicant should have bought units of at least 2M EUR 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 program or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance.
In order to confirm that the investments that meet the criteria of the current program will be kept for at least 3 years, the manager or the auditor of the fund shall inform in writing and on an annual basis, the Ministries of Finance and Interior with reference to the value of the initial investment. The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations of at least 2M EUR, 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.
The applicant may proceed with a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount to at least 2M EUR. Within this criterion (combination of investments) the applicant may purchase special government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus, up to 500,000 EUR, which will be issued by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance, on the condition that the investor will retain these bonds for a 3-year period. The characteristics and the terms of these special bonds will be determined by the General and Special Issue Terms of the Government Bonds of the Republic of Cyprus. Investments in government bonds through the secondary market are not considered eligible.
For more information view the government website.