The Cyprus government has formulated a "fast-track" Citizenship scheme aimed at high net worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. The scheme allows the successful applicant and their family to hold a Cypriot passport and enjoy all the benefits of a Cyprus and EU National.
A new improved scheme for granting a Cyprus passport is in place after the approval of the Cyprus Council of Ministers on 19 March 2014, where now a foreign investor is eligible to apply for a Cyprus passport if at least one of the eight criteria are fulfilled:
- Investments in Government Bonds issued by republic of Cyprus
- Investment in financial assets of businesses established in the Republic of Cyprus
- Investment in property in the Republic of Cyprus
- Investment or incorporation or participation in businesses that are established in the Republic of Cyprus
- Bank Deposits
- Combination of Investments
- Cyprus compensation scheme for lost investments
- Collective Investment Scheme
1. Investment in Government Bonds issued by the Republic of Cyprus
The applicant must proceed with the purchase of Government Bonds issued by the Republic of Cyprus of value at least €5 million
2. Investment in financial assets of businesses established in the Republic of Cyprus
The applicant must proceed with the purchase of financial assets of value of at least €5 million (e.g. bonds/ securities/ debentures) registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus.
3. Investment in Property in the Republic of Cyprus
The applicant must proceed with the purchase of immovable property of value at least €5 million (houses, offices, shops, hotels or a development of a similar nature)
4. Investment or incorporation or participation in businesses that are established in the Republic of Cyprus
The applicant must proceed with the purchase of businesses or companies that are based and active in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase of shares of companies registered in the Republic of Cyprus of a value of at least 5 million and which employ at least five Cypriot citizens.
5. Bank Deposits
The applicant must have personal deposits in Cypriot banks or through private companies or trusts (in which he is the ultimate beneficiary himself) in the Republic of at least € 5 million in a fixed deposit of not less than 3 years;
6. Combination of Investments
A combination of investments and donations to state funds (1), direct investment (2) and deposits in Cyprus banks (3). The applicant must have a combined investment of at least € 5 million.
7. Cyprus compensation scheme for lost investments
This category has recently been approved as a compensation for depositors who lost at least €3 million due to the levy imposed on the bank deposits in Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank. In the situations where a haircut for an amount of less than €3 million was suffered then it is still possible to utilize this new special category explained herewith if it is combined with any of the investment options mentioned above for the remainder amount
8. Collective Investment Scheme
The applicants must proceed as follows: 1. Any investment referred in categories 1-6 above, will be reduced to €2,5 million for non-Cypriot residents, who will participate in the collective investment scheme, with a total value of the assets of at least € 12,5 million; i.e. if a group of 5 (five) investors apply collectively. 2. Any investment in the categories as referred above will be reduced to €2 million for applicants, who will participate in the collective investment scheme until 1 st June 2014, with a total value of investment of at least €12,5 million; i.e. if a group of 6(six) investors apply collectively.
Minimum period of investment
It is provided that for all categories explained above (except where the whole amount required is covered under category 7 (Cyprus compensation Scheme for lost investments)) the investments must remain committed for a minimum period of 3(three) years.
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.