Сyprus Invesment Programme (CIP)
Cyprus’ Leader in Investor Immigration Services
Being located on the outskirts of the Middle East, Cyprus has a population of 1.2 million people, the capital of which is Nicosia. The nearest country being Lebanon (just 264km away), Cyprus's time zone is Eastern Eurpean (UCT +02:00). Moreover, due to its history, Cyprus practices 3 main languages, being Greek, Turkish and English. The European Euro is considered Cyprus's only currency as of 1 January 2008.
Cyprus has recently been ranked the 5th best relocation destination in the world (Knight Frank World Wealth Report 2018). Ranked by key business and leisure indicators, the Republic of Cyprus was the only European country alongside Switzerland and the only EU Member State, to make it to the top five – ahead of London, Madrid and Monaco. Coupled with what most international tax advisors agree is the most favourable onshore personal tax regime in the world, Cyprus provides an attractive destination for investor immigration.
The Cyprus Investment Programme, based on subsection (2) in Section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002 to 2019, was approved by the Cyprus Council of Ministers on 13 September 2016, and subsequently amended in May 2018, February 2019, May 2019 and August 2019. The latest amendments to the CIP are effective from 22 August 2019. Most investment immigrations advisors today agree the Cyprus CIP is the most attractive European investor immigration programme. By virtue of this Law, the Council of Ministers of Cyprus may grant citizenship by naturalisation to foreign entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Law provides for the granting of Cypriot citizenship to the spouse, children, as well as the parents of the investor. Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any additional financial criteria; however an additional financial criterion applies with regards to the parents of the main applicant (please refer to the below analysis for further guidance).
ELIGIBILITY FOR CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP BY VIRTUE OF THE CIP
To qualify under the CIP, the main applicant for citizenship must be at least 18 years of age and must meet the requirements outlined in this factsheet.
ENTIRE FAMILY ARE ELIGIBLE
The definition of “Children” includes those up to (and including) the age of 17 and “Adult Dependents” which are adult children from the ages of 18 up to and including 28 (subject to their application being reviewed by the Council of Ministers prior to their 29th birthday), provided (i) they are financially dependent on the main applicant and (ii) they are students working towards either a first university degree, or a first master’s degree. Additionally, an investor’s child with severe physical or mental disability that makes him or her unable to work is also considered as financially dependent. The parents of the main applicant may be included in the same application provided an additional investment of €500,000 (plus VAT if applicable), is made in residential property in Cyprus. Furthermore, high ranking officers of Cyprus companies, who have made an investment in Cyprus, and who have paid taxes to the Cypriot authorities in the aggregate value of €100,000 in the last three years, are also eligible under the CIP.
• Purchase of a main residence at €500,000 (plus VAT if applicable); In addition, investment of a minimum of €1,5 million in total in residential property or €2 million in total in other eligible options for a minimum period of 5 years;
• Other eligible investments include financial assets of Cypriot companies/ organizations, the secondary market of the Cyprus Stock Exchange (up to €200k), investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) or in the shipping industry or a combination amounting to at least €2 million;
• Donation of €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation (to be contributed following the application approval);
• Donation of €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation, subject to certain exceptions (to be contributed following the application approval);
• Applicant should be a holder of a valid Schengen visa when submitting a CIP application (unless the applicant is a holder of a passport exempting them from the need to obtain a Schengen Area visa);
• There is a detailed list of non-eligible persons, which includes, but is not limited to:
o Individuals with a criminal record, or who are under criminal investigation;
o Politically Exposed Persons entrusted with a prominent public function in the last five years, notwithstanding the fact that they may not hold such function at the time of the CIP application;
o Individuals included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU;
o Applicants who have previously been denied citizenship by any other EU country.