Cyprus Citizenship by Investment - F.A.Q.

How Cyprus government bonds can be purchased?

Cyprus government bonds can be purchased directly from the Cypriot Ministry of Finance or through the Cyprus Stock Exchange. From the 1st of August 2014 only the bonds purchased from the primary market are qualified for the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment scheme. The minimum lock-in period for investment purposes is three years and the applicant is able to purchase Cyprus government bonds between the 1st and 20th of each month. Payment is submitted to the Central Bank of Cyprus and the application can be processed by a power of attorney issued in the name of the applicant’s local advisor/lawyer.

How long does the evaluation of the Citizenship application last?

A decision is made by the Ministry of Interior 3 months approximately after the application is submitted.

Does the applicant need a residency permit before the Citizenship application?

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, simultaneously with the application for naturalization.

When is the applicant granted the Citizenship and Cyprus passport?

The applicant is granted with Citizenship after the approval of the Ministry of Interior and the 6 months residency period. His/her naturalization certificate must be signed and the passports are issued by the Ministry of Interior upon payment of a fee. The applicant must be physically present during this procedure.

What is the precise meaning of “acquisition of businesses or companies based in Cyprus”?

The applicant should have made a purchase or should have participated in companies established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million. The companies must have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or citizens of European Union member-states who continuously resided in Cyprus during the five years preceding the application submission date.

Is there an expiry date for the Citizenship by Investment plan?

There is no expiry date for the program, at the present.

Properties which have been purchased in the past, can be included in the investment?

Properties purchased three years prior to submitting the Citizenship application are eligible.

Do resale properties meet the criterion of real estate investment and/or the requirements in regards to private residency?

Resale properties are eligible for the real estate investment criterion and it is important to mention that VAT is not applicable in any of the cases.

How can the Investor maintain Citizenship granted?

In order for the investor to maintain his/her Citizenship provided by the Investment Program, its conditions must be honoured. These comprise preserving ownership of the Cyprus residential property, which is of minimum value of €500,000. Disposition of/ liquidation of pertinent investments (government bonds, deposit account, real estate etc.) may be facilitated after the indicated expiration of three years.

Is dual citizenship allowed by Cyprus?

Yes, Cyprus allows dual citizenship and this entails various benefits such as:

  • Holders of Cyprus Citizenship have the choice to travel, work and live in any of the European countries.
  • They can travel to more than 159 countries visa-free.
  • In the case when visa is required, they can cost efficiently and fast acquire it.
  • Dual Citizenship provides its holders financial privacy and international tax preparation.

After acquiring Citizenship, can the residential property be rented or be sold?

As it is not required for the holder to be a resident of Cyprus, he/she may choose to rent their property. In addition to this, they also have they capability to sell their current residential property, with the condition that they purchase another with the same or higher value of €500,000.

How much do the government fees amount to?

The Citizenship application submission fee amounts to €2,000 per applicant. Issuing the naturalisation certificate fee is an extra €5,000 per applicant.

Are any medical or language tests necessary before submitting the application for Citizenship?

No medical or language tests are necessary for Cypriot Citizenship application.

In case an applicant already owns residential premises in Cyprus, will he still be required to purchase an additional permanent residence of at least €500,000 for the purposes of the Citizenship by Investment application?

As long as the property purchased before the Cyprus Citizenship application was of a minimum value of €500,000, then the applicant shall not be required to purchase a supplementary residential property. Nevertheless, if the property was purchased or valued below €500,000, then it will be required to purchase an additional property (or properties) to meet the €500,000 criterion.

Is it possible for an unwed couple to simultaneously apply for a Cyprus Citizenship by Investment, where the investment will entirely be made by one of them?

It is required for a couple to be married in order to file an application. It is however possible for one partner to file the citizenship application as the main applicant and apply for his/her spouse at a later stage provided that they conducted marriage. In these circumstances no additional investment will be required by the new applicant spouse in order to obtain the citizenship.

Can the applicant’s parents apply for citizenship?

The applicant’s parents are also entitled to apply for the Cyprus citizenship by exception provided that they own a lifetime residence of at least  €500,000 (excl. VAT).